UK charity launches PrEP fund for those who can’t afford it

A British HIV charity has launched a fund to provide access to PrEP for those who can’t afford it.

The Terrence Higgins Trust’s Mags Portman PrEP Access Fund will help 1,000 people in England and Northern Ireland to buy the drug.

THT ceo Ian Green wants to address inequality in PrEP access. Photo: THT Facebook

Terrence Higgins Trust announced its plan to launch a PrEP fund as reported by Gay Star News in July

‘We have set up the Mags Portman PrEP Access Fund to enable us to provide PrEP to those who can’t access limited NHS supply or afford it themselves,’ said THT ceo, Ian Green.

Fund addresses inequality in government led PrEP programmes

‘This fund will help stop people in England and Northern Ireland from acquiring HIV, and aims to address inequity in the access of PrEP until there is full access to it on the NHS.

‘The fund highlights the inadequacy of the PrEP Trial in England,’ Green said. He added it was ‘an embarrassment’ that a charity had to step in to facilitate access to an effective drug.

The UK government added 3,000 places to its PrEP Impact Trial, but these are expected to be taken up by early 2019.

Claimants for the Mags Portman PrEP Access Fund will need to show they have been unable to access PrEP. They will need to upload documents as evidence they are on benefits. These include government benefits letters, three months of bank statements or a letter from the National Asylum Support Service.

PrEP pioneer Portman

THT named its fund after Dr Mags Portman, who is a pioneer within the sexual health sector. She is one of the key players in raising awareness of and support for PrEP in the UK.

Dr Mags Portman: Sexual health pioneer believes PrEP could end HIV in the UK. Photo: Dr Mags Portman Twitter

‘PrEP is a vital tool in combination prevention, and working towards completely ending HIV transmission in the UK’, she said.

‘This is something that is within our grasp and, as charities like Terrence Higgins Trust continue to work with partners and stakeholders in the sector, will soon be a reality.’

PrEP has been routinely available in Scotland since July 2017 and is available in Wales via an uncapped study.  The Terrence Higgins Trust wants PrEP to be made available in all parts of the UK as part of routine commissioning.

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Author: Mark Johnson

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