In a late night rant about the prescription of PrEP the LBC presenter, Ian Collins, told listeners of his show not to have sex if their partner was HIV positive.
After the news that NHS England lost its appeal over whether it is responsible for prescribing the anti-HIV medication, PrEP, to “at risk” demographics of which gay and bisexual men are; one radio host Ian Collins suggested that the move was scandalous and people at risk of being infected with HIV shouldn’t have sex.
The Court of Appeal told NHS England that it is responsible for prescribing PrEP – a move which could cost £20 million.
PrEP is described as a ‘game-changing’ pill that, when used alongside condoms, testing and treatment, could help bring the beginning of the end for HIV.
Speaking on his LBC show Ian Collins said that the decision to fund a preventative drug for people who haven’t got HIV as a “scandal”.
“Critics have said at £400 per person per month, the drug treatment is too expensive and those in that high risk group should be encouraged to practice safer sex. Well just don’t have sex at all.
“We are funding a drug for people who haven’t got HIV, but as a way of protecting them so that they might not get it so they can still have sex with their partner and not worry about protection.”
He then went on to suggest that if your partner has HIV not to have sex at all.
“Love your partner, hug your partner, kiss your partner, do all manner of other things you can do with your partner, just don’t have sex. If your partner HIV positive, don’t have sex. There’s lots of people that don’t have sex for lots of reasons.”
Collins also stated that if you’re in a relationship with someone with HIV that you should “keep your pants on”.
“…you’re being asked to just simply keep your pants on. This is not a drug that is funding people with HIV. It is funding people without HIV so that they can sleep with people with HIV. That’s it.”
Ian Howley, the interim CEO of the GMFA said,
“We understand many people’s concerns with the cost of PrEP being free on the NHS. However, this will only be 0.02% of the total NHS budget for the year. The short term cost outweighs the long term as currently the lifetime cost for treatment of someone living with HIV equates to nearly £380,000. PrEP has shown to decrease new HIV infections by 18% in cities like San Francisco. A similar reduction in the UK, year on year, could save the NHS and the tax payer millions in the long term. Too many people are becoming HIV-positive and we now have a tool that can help stop HIV. GMFA believes that PrEP should be free to anyone who is at high risk of becoming HIV-positive. We need PrEP now.”
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said
“Every day the NHS delays access to PrEP, 17 people are diagnosed with HIV – and the lifetime cost to the NHS for each diagnosis of HIV is £360,000. PrEP must be prioritised and made available now to those at risk.
“There is still a long way to go before people at risk have access to this groundbreaking pill that will protect them from HIV – but thanks to today’s decision, we are a step closer to a world without HIV transmissions.”