Immigrants in England benefit from change in HIV treatment legislation

Categories: Policy.

The new law came into effect on 1 October 2012. It was initially proposed that free HIV treatment should only be available to people who have been living in England for more than six months. 

However, free treatment will now be provided to all, regardless of immigration status or citizenship. 

Health ministers have justified this change by citing the impact that treatment for HIV has on the transmission of the disease and therefore to public health. 

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland legislation still stipulates that HIV treatment can be charged for.  

The National AIDS Trust (NAT) aims to ensure that there is free universal access to HIV treatment across the UK, and has called for a formal change to the law in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The change in HIV legislation comes after a recent Health Protection Agency study showing that more African people have acquired HIV while in the UK than previously thought.

For more information on HIV treatment and care visit the aidsmap website.