NHS access to PrEP in the UK: country update
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
Currently in the UK, access to PrEP depends on which country you live in.
For people living in Scotland, PrEP is available free on the NHS.
This summer, NHS Scotland agreed to fund PrEP for people at risk and recently announced that from November this will be with generic PrEP.
Access is mainly through sexual health clinics with details on a new website.
For people living in Wales, PrEP is also available free.
Access is provided free at sexual health clinics by NHS Wales, with minimal entry criteria, other than risk of HIV.
Although the announcement over access in Wales has referred to the PrEP programme being part of a study, this does not require active enrolment by participants. Instead, it refers to using anonymised data about PrEP use over the next three years to decide on future programmes.
For at least the next year, access to PrEP on the NHS in England will only be available by joining the PrEP IMPACT Trial.
This study plans to enrol 10,000 participants from about 200 sexual health clinics across England, with some places ring-fenced for women, trans and non-binary people and for African people. This is designed to have greater involvement of people from other risk groups to gay men.
Although the IMPACT study was due to start in September, the first sites (in London, Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield) are now expected to start by the end of October.
Although IMPACT is planned as a three year study, interim results might answer the study questions earlier than initially planned.
For further information on the trial, please email:
PrEP Northern Ireland
There is currently no access to PrEP in the NHS in Northern Ireland.