PrEP pills
The National AIDS Trust just had to school one Mail Online columnist over a story published in which he peddled "misinformation, myths and stigma" over PrEP usage.

The National AIDS Trust just had to school one Mail Online columnist over a story published in which he peddled “misinformation, myths and stigma” over PrEP usage.

PrEP pills
(C) marcbruxel Depositphotos

In the article, Mail Online columnist Ross Clark, reveals that after a recent visit to his GP for a suspected hernia, the doctor was unable to refer him to have an operation or to a specialist due the fact that he wasn’t in pain and didn’t have any heavy lifting in his job, the GP told him he “wasn’t bad enough to qualify for funding under new NHS guidelines”.

However, later on in the article, which the Terrence Higgins Trust has blasted as fuelling misinformation, myths and stigma, he draws comparisons between what the NHS could pay for and what they couldn’t. PrEP and transgender surgery was, it seems, central to his argument.

He wrote, “There is the £22 million a year being spent on transgender surgery, at a cost of £20,000 per patient. There is £730 million a year being spent pumping drug addicts full of Methadone — a heroin substitute which is supposed to help wean people off that drug, but which is itself addictive.

“The NHS has started, too, to prescribe PrEP — a drug which cuts the risk of HIV transmission in gay men who have sex without a condom.

“It is prescribing the drug —which costs £400 a month for a single patient — in spite of warnings that it will be encouraging risky behaviour, and it could increase other infections such as syphilis and gonorrhea [sic], against which PrEP offers no protection.”

“Not One Thing accurate”

Well, the Twitter team at National AIDS Trust had to put him right – and point out exactly why his article is so wrong.

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“Trying to create a Twitter storm”

The columnist Ross Clark then accused the National AIDS Trust of trying to start a “Twitter Storm” saying, “You are trying to create a Twitter storm based on something I haven’t written, knowing that most who retweet won’t actually bother to read the piece”.

Losing Advertisers

Recently the MailOnline lost a number of high-profile advertisers when companies started to pull out of contracts with the publication after a successful awareness campaign by pressure group, Stop Funding Hate. Eventually, the newspaper removed advertising from many of its columnists including Richard Littlejohn.