Labour LGBT welcomes HIV PrEP programme
The confirmation today that the Government has finally moved on a HIV PrEP programme is welcome and builds on a long campaign that has sought improved and free access to PrEP to combat the transmission of HIV.
Labour LGBT spokesperson Karl Hayden said:
“For some time Labour has been calling for greater investment in public health services, including public education programmes around sexual health and measures to halt the alarming rise of HIV infections in Ireland.
“In 2018, the number of people with HIV increased by 8% with over 500 new cases. It is essential that we do all we can to address this
“In Labour’s last two alternative Budgets we provided funding for the rollout of PrEP free of charge. Today the news that a programme will start from the 4th November is very welcome. The commitment of €5.4 million for full roll-out in 2020 will make a real difference.
“The recent increase in HIV rates in Ireland also shows the need for improvements in access to post exposure prophylaxis especially for vulnerable groups. This is a month long course of anti-retroviral drugs that dramatically decreases the likelihood of getting HIV. However it is essential that this starts within 24 hours of possible exposure, and no later than 72 hours. While PEP is free and available in most clinics and Emergency Departments vulnerable groups such as undocumented migrants can be reluctant to pursue treatment.”