The PrEP Petition That Could Save Lives
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The PrEP Petition That Could Save Lives:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you’ll have probably heard about the government petitions service online. It hit the news most recently for the “Revoke Article 50” petition that gained over 5m signatures before parliament responded.
However, hastily moving away from Brexit, we’ve recently discovered another petition that unfortunately has nowhere near as many signatures - yet it has the potential to save lives.
Danielle Cornish-Spencer started a petition to make PrEP available on the NHS across the country in December 2018. Unfortunately, it’s only gained just over 4,000 signatures so far, and all petitions need at least 10,000 for the government to respond. But what exactly is PrEP?
PrEP – The basics
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and is most commonly sold under the brand name Truvada. It’s a medication that can prevent HIV. It contains some of the same drugs that are used to treat patients who are already diagnosed with HIV (also known as PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis) except PrEP can actually stop the virus from taking hold in the body’s cells.
PrEP’s success rate is around 90%, meaning that even if an HIV-negative person had unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person, they’d likely still remain uninfected as long as they were regularly taking PrEP.
It’s intended for people that are at high risk of contracting the disease, for example, those with multiple sexual partners of unknown status, and those who don’t regularly use barrier methods. You can find out more about the medication by looking at the dedicated page on our website
It sounds great! Isn’t it already available?
PrEP is currently free on the NHS in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with an uncapped trial taking place in Wales, and with 13,000 people in England (though the government have pledged to double this number by the end of 2020).
Unfortunately, there are more people at risk of contracting HIV than the number of places available on the impact trial in England. This means that people are having to buy the medicine themselves online, often from overseas and unregulated sources, making it a risky move.
Because of this, Danielle Cornish-Spencer decided to start the petition to make PrEP easily accessible for everyone late last year, but desperately needs more signatures for the government to take notice.
Danielle says, “This is a potentially life-saving medication and the NHS in England should follow the excellent example of Scotland. People in the UK shouldn’t live in a postcode lottery regarding any NHS services or medications. As a queer woman, I have seen many of my friends impacted by HIV/AIDS. I would love this petition to receive 10,000 signatures and be debated in parliament. There is no real reason that the NHS in England and Wales shouldn’t be providing this preventative medication.”
We fully support the NHS in making PrEP readily available for everyone that needs it, and we’re proud to be sharing the petition link with you today. We want to reach as many people as possible, so please spread the word on social media to make this life-saving drug available to those who are most vulnerable.
How do I sign?
It’s really simple to sign an online petition. All you need is an email address and a UK postcode.
Sharing is caring. When you’ve signed, just copy the URL and share it to your social media profiles if you’re able to do so. You could be helping thousands of people access vital medication just by sharing.
At 10,000 signatures, the government will respond to the petition, but what we really want is for it to gain 100,000 signatures. This is when it will be considered for debate in parliament.
We have until the 12 June 2019. Are you up for the challenge?
What do I do if I need PrEP now?
If you need PrEP now and can’t access it for free, you can order it directly from our website. We’ve negotiated with suppliers to make it as affordable as possible, as many websites that claim to supply PrEP are from overseas, unregulated sources. This can potentially be very dangerous, especially as many of the sites don’t require a prescription to access the medication.
However, Doctor4U can provide this service for you. There’s no need to see your own GP as our doctors can review your medication request and generate a prescription based on whether they think it’s safe for you to take. Patient safety is our number one priority, and until the NHS can provide PrEP for everyone, we want to make it as easily accessible as we can.