Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘This is a significant milestone in the HIV response in Wales. Thanks to the existing provision, PrEP has already made a real impact in the fight against HIV in Wales, with zero new HIV transmissions among those taking PrEP in the last three years. By making this HIV game-changer routinely available its benefits can now be fully unlocked.
‘The Welsh Government was the first UK government to commit to ending new HIV transmissions by 2030 and long-term PrEP access will play a big part in making this a reality. Wales continues to lead the way and has provided a firm commitment to PrEP and recognising it as being cost effective. This political leadership has been important.
‘We have been proud to stand alongside other charities, community groups and activists across Wales to ensure today’s announcement was the right one. Now the real work begins to get PrEP in the hands of more of those who can benefit from it.’
On the next steps, Debbie Laycock added: ‘We understand that COVID-19 is continuing to put pressure on all parts of the health service. However, it’s really important there is a smooth transition onto routine PrEP for people currently accessing PrEP through the study.
‘There remains challenges to ensure PrEP isn’t only seen as something for gay and bisexual men and that its benefits can reach other groups impacted by HIV, including women, trans people and BAME communities. We also know there has been a number of people who have been eligible for PrEP but declined it and we welcome the study currently looking at why this is.
‘We will continue to play our part in working alongside the Welsh Government and ensure that it fulfils its promise to end the HIV epidemic in Wales by 2030. Today is a seminal moment in the journey towards this goal.’