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Charity leading PrEP trial in England announces shock closure

Written by gaytourism

PrEP is daily medication to prevent HIV infection | Photo: we.prep.together Instagram

A charity leading the PrEP trial in England has shut down in a shock announcement.

St Stephen’s Aids Trust, which partnered with Public Health England and the NHS last year to trial PrEP, has closed due to finances.

While the announcement has people concerned HIV prevention medication could be stopped, medical professionals have tried to ease people’s fears.

St Stephen’s has denied the closure will affect the impact trial.

HuffPost UK has claimed the Charity Commission and Companies House records show St Stephen’s Aids Trust failed to submit its latest financial accounts.

One filing, according to the Charity Commission, was 97 days overdue.

Launched in September 2017 with St Stephen’s as the managing delivery partner, the trial had funding for 10,000 patients.

Figures show there are currently over 5,600 participants across 121 sites.

New management trust vows PrEP trial will not be impacted by change of leadership

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will take over management of the trial on 1 June.

The trust said in a statement: ‘There will be no immediate impact for any patients, and the Trust will make every effort to ensure there will be a commitment to continue [St Stephen’s] important research and that their legacy will endure into the future.’

The new HIV initiative has came after a long fight with sexual health advocates and NHS England that ultimately found, in a court of law, that NHS England has the power to fund the provision of PrEP.

Following the loss of the ruling, NHS England agreed to fully fund the cost of the clinical trial phase and will work in partnership with local authorities, the Local Government Association and Public Health England to implement the findings as part of a wider national roll-out. NHS England have said they are providing up to £10 million for the trial.

Norway was the first country in the world to make the medication available via its health service to those most at risk. This includes sexually active gay men.

What is PrEP on-demand dosing and is it suitable for me?

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