General News

Kemptown MP secures protection for HIV prevention funding

Besi Besemar December 20, 2014

Following an outcry over Government plans to cut HIV Prevention funding by 50% in the year commencing April 2015, Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS has lobbied Ministers at the Department of Health on the issue of funding for HIV prevention.

Simon Kirby MP

FOLLOWING HIS representations, Jane Ellison MP, the Parliamentary Under Secetary of State for Public Health has written to Mr Kirby to confirm that the Government is protecting funding for HIV prevention.

Jane Ellison MP
Jane Ellison MP

In her letter she says: “I want to make it absolutely clear that this Government will protect funding for HIV prevention. Suggestions we are going to cut this provision are unfounded. It will continue.”

She goes on to say the Government wants to be more ambitious in their plans to prevent HIV and intend to explore more and new innovative ways of doing things which may involve working with a broader range of organisations including charities who are experimenting with different ways of raising awareness of and preventing HIV transmission.

Simon said: “As the Vice-Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS I was very concerned to read the reports of a cut in HIV prevention funding. That is why I immediately made a number of representations to Ministers at the Department of Health to stress the importance of HIV prevention in the continued fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Whilst it is welcome that the Government has taken steps, beyond awareness raising and testing, for example by lifting the ban on home testing kits, however there is more to be done to help reduce the number of HIV infections, particularly in men who have sex with men.

“I am delighted that following my lobbying efforts, the Minister for Public Health has confirmed that the Government is protecting funding for HIV prevention and that it will not be reduced.”

In 2012/13, the Government committed £630 million on HIV treatment and care, but the MP believes more needs to be done to prevent people becoming infected in the first place.

Jane Ellison MP, Public Health Minister, added: “Your continued campaigning on these issues and other health matters continues to be warmly welcomed.”