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HIV "game-changer" on the NHS

The NHS in England has announced from this month it will give people a drug to dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infection.

The health service had previously fought against paying for Prep (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and unsuccessfully took the issue to court last year.

However, the drug (a daily pill aimed to disable HIV before it gets a stranglehold in the body) will be now given to 10,000 people in a £10m trial lasting three years.

Trials suggest it can cut the risk of being infected by up to 86%.

Scotland has already announced it will make Prep available on the NHS to people at risk of HIV. The government in Wales is also trialling the drug.

Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “This major new intervention should complement and supercharge the wide-ranging and increasingly successful effort to prevent HIV.

“It’s another milestone in more than three decades’ worth of progress in tackling one of humanity’s major health challenges.”

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive at the National AIDS Trust, called the news “a pivotal moment in the fight against HIV”.

The trial aims to answer questions about how Prep should be offered on a wide scale across England.

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