On World AIDS Day, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that from Wednesday, those who do not have HIV but are taking PrEP medicine to prevent potential infection will be eligible to join and serve in the armed forces without limitations…reports Asian Lite News.
On Wednesday, the UK government unveiled a new HIV action plan backed by 23 million pounds ($30.5 million) to stop infections and deaths in England by 2030. Whereas, in a separate announcement, the Ministry of Defence announced adjustments to make it simpler for those living with HIV to join the armed forces.
The plan aims to prevent new infections by increasing funding for the National HIV Prevention Program over the next three years and expanding access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for persons who are at risk of developing the infection.
On World AIDS Day, in a statement released by his office, Health Minister Sajid Javid said, “We will end new HIV infections in England by the end of the decade.”
The government also intends to increase HIV testing in high-risk communities and guarantee that people receive treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent the infection from spreading further.
Parliamentary under-secretary of state for vaccines & public health, Maggie Throup, was quoted as saying, “We’re taking action to make sure we’re firmly on track to meet our target in the next 9 years – doubling down on existing efforts and adopting new strategies to reach particularly at-risk groups.”
On World AIDS Day, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that from Wednesday, those who do not have HIV but are taking PrEP medicine to prevent potential infection will be eligible to join and serve in the armed forces without limitations.
It further stated that urgent work is also underway to allow individuals with HIV who are on treatment and have no detectable virus in their blood to join the military. The goal of the action plan is to reduce the number of HIV diagnoses in England from 2,860 in 2019 to around 600 by 2025. It also seeks to cut the number of HIV deaths in England from 230 in 2019 to less than 115 by 2025.
People with HIV are not allowed to join the armed forces under current policy, and anyone diagnosed with the virus while serving is no longer judged totally fit and is unable to deploy on specified operations, which the Ministry of Defence says will change next spring.
According to the most recent Department of Health and Social Care data, an estimated 96,200 persons in England were living with HIV in 2019, including an estimated 5,900 with an undiagnosed HIV infection, accounting for 6% of the total.