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Maggie calls for an expansion of opt-out HIV testing in Westminster Hall Debate

Maggie Throup, Member of Parliament for Erewash and former Public Health Minister has called on the Government to expand opt-out HIV testing across the country in a parliamentary debate to highlight HIV Testing Week 2023.

In 2021, the Government, through the ‘HIV Action Plan’ and supported by £23 million in funding, set a target of achieving zero HIV transmissions by 2030. The investment, which Maggie helped secure and implement, includes plans to improve HIV prevention activities, expand opt-out HIV testing and ensure people living with HIV receive rapid treatment.

Maggie commented:

“During my time as Public Health Minister, perhaps the work I am most proud of is bringing forward the new National HIV Action Plan, with the clear aim of reducing new infections by 80 percent by 2025 and, crucially, ending infections and deaths from HIV by 2030.

“I was clear with colleagues across Government, as well as in the NHS, that this goal could only be achieved if the plan was properly funded.

“By securing over £23 million of new funding to support the work needed to deliver the Action Plan, including scaling up HIV testing in targeted, high-risk populations and increasing access to the antiviral drug PrEP, I am wholly confident that we can and will eradicate HIV in the UK by 2030.

“We have already seen the successes of opt-out testing in in London, Manchester, Brighton and Blackpool, where 261 people were newly diagnosed with HIV and a further 137 people were found who had been lost to care. This is a great success story, and I am now calling on NHS England to expand opt-out testing to all high prevalence areas in England, including Nottingham and Derby.

“It is clear that opt-out testing saves lives and saves money for the NHS.”

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