News & Media > UK's leading HIV doctors debate making drug to prevent HIV transmission available on NHS

UK's leading HIV doctors debate making drug to prevent HIV transmission available on NHS

Wednesday 8 October 2014

The UK's leading HIV doctors will on Friday 10 October 2014 debate whether the NHS should make available a drug to reduce the risk of HIV being acquired through sex, when taken every day by people who are HIV negative. Since May 2014, the drug – Truvada – has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in the US for those at high risk of HIV infection*. Despite its high success rate, it is not currently available in the UK for the prevention of HIV, outside clinical trials.

The debate takes place on Friday 10 October at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) Autumn Conference at the QEII Conference Centre in London. BHIVA Chair Dr David Asboe, a consultant in HIV medicine at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: "There is little doubt that this drug can prevent HIV transmission, although controversy continues around its use in this way. For example, it may increase the likelihood of people having condomless sex and therefore contribute to a rise in other serious sexually transmitted infections. However, with its recent recommendation to help prevent HIV transmission for high risk individuals in the US, we feel that the time has come for a serious debate on its use in the UK."

The BHIVA Autumn Conference is one of the UK's largest gatherings of HIV health professionals, featuring two days of discussion, debate and research presentations on all areas of relevance to HIV treatment and care.

The conference also plays host to the Children's HIV Association annual conference, at which this year's keynote speaker is Dr Jintanat Ananworanich, Associate Director for Therapeutics Research at the US Military HIV Research Program. Dr Ananworanich will be presenting on HIV persistence and paediatric HIV cure, following the case of the 'Mississippi baby', a baby girl who in 2013 contracted HIV from her HIV-infected mother and was at one stage incorrectly thought to have been 'cured' of HIV.

*This includes HIV-negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex, and male-female sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 and the other does not.

For further information or to request media accreditation at the conference, please contact Curium Communications:
Jon Cope: 07867 508212
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BHIVA is the leading UK association representing professionals in HIV care. Since 1995, we have been committed to providing excellent care for people living with and affected by HIV. BHIVA is a national advisory body on all aspects of HIV care and we provide a national platform for HIV care issues. Our representatives contribute to international, national and local committees dealing with HIV care. In addition, we promote undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education within HIV care. Visit for more information about BHIVA, and follow us on Twitter @BritishHIVAssoc