By Andrew Goyvaerts
To say the topic of who should pay for PrEP has divided opinion would be as understated as saying Boris Island was the dream of an ego trip, or perhaps a bit too much of that French Champagne and Wine Mr. Johnson talks about so much, but the use of Truvada as a preventative treatment has itself divided opinion with a minority saying it should not be made available because it is not something they themselves would take and so believe others should not be allowed to either. In a situation like this, for many people, one main question arises, why can’t those who are not in favour just stand back and say, “okay, this isn’t for me but it won’t harm me by others having it, so I support it for their sake”.
Personally, cosmetic surgery for the sake of it is not my thing, the growing wrinkles on my face will not be treated with something that was probably developed in Porton Down but if that is your thing, feel free, so long as you are not being forced into it who would I be to say you shouldn’t, after all it is your right and if by chance that right is ever under threat I will stand with you in full support, even though I personally believe that unless it is for reconstructive or medical purposes cosmetic surgery is an unnecessary thing and you could find alternate ways of looking young but again, so long as you are not being forced into anything.
PrEP will not be compulsory to take, nobody will be forced, coerced or peer pressured meaning anyone who does so will want to take it and above all else be taking it to protect themselves so why not support it? I am a firm believer in everyone having a right to their own opinions, to air those opinions and live life in their own way. As long as those opinions are not expressed in a threatening/aggressive manner, said in the hope of inciting others to commit acts of hatred or that lifestyle does not aim to oppress the lifestyle of another, there is no reason why society should not be able to coexist peacefully with our many differences and support each other, however, when people try to impose their views on others, even if that is not in a threatening or aggressive manner, they are expecting others to live life under their rules which begins to feel like absolutism, an insufferable existence at any time but at a time when the population along with the variety of beliefs that exist in society continue to grow it threatens or ability to live together each in our own way with our own views.
If you don’t want to take PrEP that’s fine, just don’t be a dictator by supporting the withholding of it from those who want to take it. As for who foots the cost and those who say it should not be the NHS, the evidence is clear to anyone who has knowledge, preventing HIV costs much less than treating it. When weighing up the cost of prevention vs treatment, some of the few costs one needs to take into account are, ART, physician visits which can be as regular as every two weeks to every 1/3/6/12 months depending on how stable a persons’ health is, along with the cost of medication some people must take to treat other HIV associated non-AIDS conditions (for me 3 tablets per day as well as 2 ART tabs), this far outstretches the cost of providing PrEP. To most people its simple, the NHS need to wise up and PrEP up the people who want it.