The National AIDS Trust (NAT) has today welcomed commitment from the Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison MP, to maintain current levels of funding for national HIV prevention for a further year.
In a letter to fellow Conservative MPs, which was reported in Pink News on Friday, the Minister said: “I want to take this opportunity to make absolutely clear that this Government will protect funding for HIV prevention.”
This will come as a huge relief to supporters of the investment – over 1400 of whom wrote to the Minister to voice their concerns in a campaign to stop the proposed cut to the fund. NAT initiated the campaign following Earl Howe’s answer to a parliamentary question on World AIDS Day, where he stated that the funding would likely be ‘pared back’, and a public comment from THT CEO, Rosemary Gillespie, confirming that the proposed cut was in the region of 50%.
Deborah Gold, CEO of NAT, said: “It is great news that the funding will be maintained for next year despite earlier plans for a substantial cut. We now need to use the next year for a proper discussion with all stakeholders and communities about the scope, shape and funding of a new multi-year programme from 2016/17.
“The Government has heard loud and clear from the public that standing back and doing less on HIV prevention is simply not an option. I want to thank MPs, peers and activists who expressed their concern at any possible cut to the Government. You have made a real difference.”