The pioneering PrEP – or pre-exposure prophylaxis – will be rolled to to sexual health clinics in cities around the UK, including London, Manchester and Brighton, NHS England announced.

As part of a three-year trial, at least 10,000 individuals will be offered the drug through their local clinic with “high risk” patients prioritised.

The scheme is part of the initial stages of a plan to offer the drug to the public on a wider scale.

The antiretroviral drug has demonstrated success in reducing the risk of HIV in past trials. It works by preventing the disease from being able to take hold of the body if a pill is taken daily.

But studies have also shown that there are still benefits when taken before and after sex.

The announcement follows a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the National Aids Trust. Last year the NAT challenged NHS England over their obligation to commission the preventative treatment.

The health service had argued that responsibility should fall to local authorities to pay for the drug.

With an estimated 101,200 people living with HIV in the UK, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust Ian Green said: “We’re pleased that NHS England has announced a start date for the much anticipated PrEP trial.


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