It was a busy day yesterday for the launch of our “Wise Up, PrEP Up” campaign which encourages everybody to get behind calls for the NHS to roll out a HIV preventative treatment that comes under the name Truvada, otherwise known as PrEP. Currently the support for this to happen is overwhelming, however, with the NHS showing such reluctance to do the compassionate thing we need to up our efforts.
The name of the campaign is simple, the health service/s need to wise up (a common phrase here in Northern Ireland that tells one they are being foolish), stock up on PrEP and provide the public with what many have called the end of HIV. The CDC report that PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV transmission through sexual intercourse by more than 90% leading the U.S. to approve it for availability in 2012, followed by France in 2015.
Although we have condoms which people should still use for protection from other STIs, PrEP is the way forward to protect from and end HIV. Now we truly have the tools to end the UK epidemic once and for all, Positive Moving On want people to mobilise their community spirit like never before and make this point clear, the devastating effects of this epidemic have been the centre of society for over three decades, dominating our lives with no end in sight, a generation have grown up in its shadow, concerned that they might be the next one to be diagnosed, for some that shadow turned into reality. We now have an end in sight but our national health system, the establishment we rely on to care, refuse to make it available.
That is infuriating to us and whether or not you are going to take PrEP it should infuriate you too because it could be anybody’s nephew, niece, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or friend who wants PrEP, fails to get it and becomes the next person to sit in a small room across from a doctor and hear those words too many of us have heard, “your HIV test came back positive”. If we allow this to happen now, it will be downhill from here, who knows what else will not be provided in future due to “law”, so get writing to your MP, many of whom are outraged by this themselves, state in a respectful manner that you do not feel the NHS represents the public anymore and sight PrEP as an example, better still write to the CEO of the NHS, also in a respectful manner, get on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the countless other social media sites there are calling on the NHS to approve PrEP, sign a petition, organise a peaceful march it doesn’t matter if you live in a city, town, hamlet or isolated dwelling, HIV does not distinguish between rural and urban, neither should you, get up and make a noise.