A high court judge ordered the NHS yesterday to prescribe a preventative HIV drug, Prep for up to 10,000 gay men who do not have HIV but are at a risk of being infected from unprotected sex. This case was taken to court by a leading anti-aids charity, the National Aids Trust when NHS England refused to initially prescribe the preventative aids daily pill, known as prep; pre exposure prophylaxis. This move will cost the British taxpayers up to £20 million a year and has raised scathing concerns especially with the NHS already struggling to cover all the cancer care commitments and other high priority children ailments.
The National Aids Charity claim that from trials, Prep is 92% effective when taken daily. The prescription is only currently available privately at a cost of £400 per month and they claim that it will save the NHS quite a considerable amount of money since it costs the NHS £15,000 a year to treat a patient with HIV. Deborah Gold of the Aids Charity applauded the judge’s ruling saying it will save lives of men and women across the country who are at a risk of acquiring HIV.
Unfortunately, some medical experts are very concerned mainly because this so called anti-preventative drug can develop a resistance to HIV from continuous usage. In Canada, there is case of a 43 year old gay man that still got infected after being on the drug for 2 years.
This ruling was welcomed by some MPs whilst others and Aids Charities have been left less thrilled. The major concern for some is that this legal ruling gives credence to having unprotected sex especially in this day and age where there has been a rapid decline in the use of condom. Dr Peter Saunders of The Christian Medical Fellowship voiced his concern saying: ‘This is a strategy fraught with dangers. Making Prep freely available to already promiscuous homosexuals could well encourage more sexual risk taking and more sexually transmitted disease as a result’.
There has been an increase in STDs and other sexual diseases due to the fall in the use of condoms according to many surveys done recently.
Although this ruling may sound like a game changer as the charities proclaim but many say there is no moral justification for British tax payers to fund the lifestyle of individuals that are happy to have unprotected sex.
Questions or Solutions:
– Will this be seen as sending a wrong message to the public that it is alright to have unprotected sex?
– Why should this anti- preventative drug be a priority over cancer drugs while cancer is rapidly growing at an alarming rate?
– Will it not be a better option to spend a smaller budget campaigning for safe sex especially amongst the youths in the media?
– Handing out free condoms as a cheaper option?.
Food For Thought
The possibility of the spread of AIDS may result from this court ruling because all the promiscuous individuals that have random unprotected sex with multiple partners may see this move as a license to continue this dangerous way of life. Unfortunately this can also be seen as a precedence to other lifestyle drug cases in futures that could have a huge impact on the NHS as a whole. We all know that the NHS is in dire need for cash and can barely cope and this cost will only stretch it further.
How on earth can the NHS that is so badly in need of extra cash sustain this extra cost without avoiding a total collapse.
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