Diane accuses Cameron of marginalising HIV prevention

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01 Apr 2011

Diane Abbott MP, the Shadow Health Minister, has accused the Tory-led government of marginalising people at risk of HIV, over savage cuts to HIV prevention work in key Primary Care Trusts. Despite HIV prevalence remaining high in many parts of London, the capital will be hit with deep funding cuts.

Ms Abbott said:

‘These cuts will turn back the clock on HIV prevention work.

David Cameron’s Big Society does not seem to include those people at risk from HIV. Whilst HIV is relevant to every member of the public, it does disproportionately affect particular groups in the UK, and it is right that our attention and resources respond appropriately.

HIV prevention services in London face a funding cut of about 43 per cent, and that is on the back of the news that in the last ten years we have seen a 70 per cent rise in new diagnosis of HIV infections in gay men.

To threaten and marginalise Britain’s gay and bisexual communities with these savage cuts, without any kind of impact assessment, is appalling.’

Ms Abbott has been joined by a range of organisations and public figures in her condemnation of the cuts. Pop Singer Elton John says he has a date in the diary to meet prime minister David Cameron to discuss what can be done to tackle UK HIV rates in gay men.

A number of groups, including GMFA, Terrence Higgins Trust and PACE, were told last week that the NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) which help to fund their work would be slashing their budgets.

The groups are part of the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme, which is funded by PCTs and commissions a range of small organisations to tackle HIV in the capital.

They were told by Kensington and Chelsea PCT, which manages the programme, that although 21 PCTs in London wish to continue the work, only six-month contracts with reduced funding can be offered at present because PCTs are “not able to continue to commit at commensurate financial levels going forward”.


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