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The government has come under fire this evening after HIV charities revealed that it was planning to cut HIV prevention schemes, which it has funded since 1996, by 50%, from April 2015, despite a rise in new infections amongst gay, bisexual and MSM (Men who have sex with men). The announcement has been called by campaigners and HIV charities alike as ‘devastating’.
Both the National AIDS Trust and the Terrance Higgins Trust have decried the move, calling it ‘staggering’ and HIV prevention is at a ‘serious risk of going backwards’.
Funding will be halved for the year commencing April 2015 and there is as yet no commitment to fund further years of the programme.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, says:
“This decision is simply staggering. HIV transmission shows no signs of decline, with the highest number of diagnoses among gay and bisexual men ever last year. Public knowledge of HIV is far too low, and myths about HIV are on the increase. We are at serious risk of going backwards on HIV if national-level investment is not made in HIV prevention. We urge the Government to think again.”
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