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26 April 2017, 14:43
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Free Access To PrEP In Wales, UK Has Been Rejected Today

Free Access To PrEP In Wales, UK Has Been Rejected Today - picture 1

Today, many HIV activists and representatives of HIV service organizations in Wales, UK were waiting for Welsh Government to answer if PrEP will become available and free via the NHS  in high-risk population groups. But today the Public Health Wales has rejected the proposal in The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) report named "‘Preparing for PrEP?’ A Review of the Current Evidence for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection in Wales," Welsh government was referring to.

"It is in high-risk population groups where we anticipate that the provision of PrEP will have the greatest impact. In line with similar reports from Scotland, NHS England and BHIVA/BASHH, we define ‘high-risk’ groups as MSM engaging in condomless anal sex, transgender men and women engaging in condomless anal sex, HIV-negative partners of HIV positive partners (in certain circumstances) and specific heterosexual populations. In many of these groups, we already see high levels of STIs, and therefore, while we can reasonably anticipate high or even slightly increasing STI rates for this group if PrEP is provided, we have reason to be assured that the risk of onward transmission of HIV would be substantially reduced. As we have seen earlier in this document, making PrEP available to high-risk groups is in line with guidance produced in England, Scotland, and Europe, and globally through WHO. We see no good reason to contradict their recommendations," states the AWMSG official report. "That said there are still a range of unknowns. Whilst evidence emerging from clinical trials has been positive, it remains to be seen how successfully patients will be in adhering to the treatment in ‘real-world’, uncontrolled settings. We know that PrEP becomes less and less effective the more it is misused, and we know that some people in Wales are already accessing PrEP through online purchasing and other means, and this will only continue, unmonitored, if PrEP is not provided through the NHS."

The U.K. HIV stakeholders controversially met the decision.

As the Cardiff-based HIV advocate working in Public Health Adam Jones tweets "Stress that this is not a final decision, just recommendation."

"This is a short-sighted recommendation to deny HIV prevention to people at risk," shouts out Terrence Higgins HIV Trust‏ in its Twitter account.

"As this report has been developed, the authors have recognised the rapid evolution of evidence related to PrEP; therefore it is recommended that reviews of the evidence continue through central oversight, at least twelve months from initial evidence publication or on emergence of significant new evidence, whichever is earlier. In turn, relevant updates will be provided to services and public messaging revised accordingly," finishes its report AWMSG.

You are welcomed to download and read this report by the link http://bit.ly/PrEP_Wales

 

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) was established in 2002, as a statutory advisory Welsh Assembly-sponsored public body under the 1977 NHS Act, to provide advice on medicines management and prescribing to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Services in an effective, efficient and transparent manner.
AWMSG brings together NHS clinicians, pharmacists, healthcare professionals, academics, health economists, industry representatives and patient advocates. AWMSG, acting in a strategic and advisory capacity, is an authoritative and expert channel through which consensus can be reached on the use of medicines within both primary and secondary care.

Author: Lilia Ten

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