Community News

Government commit to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030

Besi Besemar January 30, 2019

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, will today announce the Governments commitment to reach zero new HIV transmission in England by 2030.

THE announcement will be made at the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), Evening Standard and Independent’s AIDSfree Cities Global Forum summit taking place in Mayfair, London.

Mr Hancock is due to say: “So today we’re setting a new goal: eradicating HIV transmission in England by 2030. No new infections within the next decade. Becoming one of the first countries to reach the UN zero infections target by 2030.”

The Department for Health & Social Care has confirmed that an expert group will now be established to develop an action plan over the course of this year. They have said that prevention will be at the heart of this commitment, alongside measurable action points for each group who are at risk of infection, including gay and bisexual men, Black African and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and for all other heterosexuals, and extensive monitoring of progress.

This news follows the UK meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets in November 2018, ahead of the 2020 deadline, with 92% of people living with HIV diagnosed; 98% of those on treatment; and 97% of those have an undetectable viral load, which means they can’t pass on HIV.

Ian Green
Ian Green

Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust said: “Today’s commitment is a seminal moment in the fight to end new HIV transmissions in England. In becoming one of the first nations to make such a commitment, the Government has shown decisive leadership on HIV and we applaud them for making this pledge.

“We now have the tools to end HIV transmissions. Through regular HIV testing, condom use, access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), prevention information and advice, and effective treatment which means people living with HIV cannot pass on the virus, we can stop HIV in its tracks. That’s why Terrence Higgins Trust has been vocal in our call for this ambitious but achievable commitment.

“For England to reach zero new HIV transmissions, the Department for Health & Social Care, Public Health England, alongside local authorities, must now urgently work in collaboration to address some of the most pressing HIV issues. These include stepping up HIV testing to ensure the 8,000 people who remain undiagnosed can get onto treatment, immediately adding more places to the PrEP trial and ensuring sexual health services are properly funded. Without these actions, this commitment simply won’t be achievable. 

“The clock has now started ticking towards the end of HIV transmissions in England. Today’s commitment demonstrates that the Government has listened to our demand for a bold vision on HIV. Now it must act upon our call to ensure services and interventions are urgently put in place to ensure that by 2030 this pledge is made a reality.”

Deborah Gold
Deborah Gold

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said: “As the Government makes this welcome and important step to formally commit to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, action must urgently follow.

“Meaningful progress to the 2030 goal will not happen whilst sexual health services creak at the seams due to continued underinvestment in public health. People are unable to access the HIV prevention drug PrEP and are now going on to acquire HIV.

“Matt Hancock must act quickly and decisively to ensure that public health is adequately funded and PrEP available to all who need it in England. We look forward to working with him and others on plans to achieve elimination of HIV.”