A landmark drug that helps prevent the transmission of HIV should be offered on the Welsh NHS following a court ruling clearing the way in England, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have said.
The High Court has today ruled that NHS England can legally prescribe Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to those at high risk of contracting HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM). NHS England had claimed that PrEP, as a preventative drug, was not its responsibility.
Earlier this year the Welsh Lib Dems became the first Welsh party to support making PrEP available to MSM and others at high risk of contracting HIV, passing a motion at their Spring Conference supporting the proposal.
Cadan ap Tomos, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Equalities spokesperson, said:
"Now the High Court has told NHS England to stop passing the buck, the Welsh NHS needs to take the initiative and introduce PrEP as a matter of urgency.
"Clinical trials and use by health services abroad has shown a significant reduction in HIV contraction rates for those taking PrEP. The Welsh Health Secretary now needs to show leadership and introduce this drug for Welsh patients.
"Of course, PrEP is not a magic bullet. Wales urgently needs to improve its testing services, as well as its sex and relationships education, but any opportunity to help prevent the spread of HIV must be grasped."