Hackney receives extra funding for life saving HIV prevention
Hackney welcomes additional funding to ensure more residents in the borough can access PrEP, the life saving medication that helps prevent HIV infection.
PrEP is a pill, taken on an ongoing basis before sex and continued after sex. It’s taken by someone who doesn’t have HIV, to prevent them from getting HIV. The Borough has now received additional funding of over £700,000 to ensure more people can access the treatment.
PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) medication is now freely available to local residents at risk of HIV infection and people from black communities, trans women and those who are gay or bisexual are especially encouraged to access PrEP. Taking PrEP before sex can help to protect you against HIV. Visit www.homerton.nhs.uk/prep to find out more.
There has been lots of hard work from our health and local voluntary sector partners as well as from myself in the Council, in lobbying for additional PreP funding from the Department of Health. This is fantastic news for areas such Hackney where we are proud to have some of the largest black and LGBTQ+ communities in the country. Over the last few years we have seen how amazingly successful PrEP is at reducing new infections of HIV amongst gay men. This additional funding of over £700,000 means we can ensure all who can benefit from PrEP, especially people of black ethnic heritage, can now access it for free from our local sexual health services. This will help us reduce new HIV infections amongst our local communities where historically we have had high levels of HIV transmission.
You can still access or start PrEP during the lockdown and online consultations can be arranged with sexual health specialists along with home testing for any existing STIs. To make an appointment to discuss if PrEP is the right option for you please visit www.homerton.nhs.uk/prep
Discreet, at-home HIV and STI testing kits can also be ordered through the Sexual Health London portal - www.shl.uk. If you do not have digital access, it’s still simple to order a test, by calling the local sexual health service on 020 7683 4103, where clinicians will be able to arrange for you to get a test at a clinic
Positive East (www.positiveeast.org) supports adults living with HIV and Body & Soul (www.bodyandsoulcharity.org) provides support to children, young people, and families affected by HIV.