Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Free HIV

The words Free HIV were trending earlier. The government has done something sensible and are giving free HIV treatment to foreign nationals who are in the UK. This is a straightforward decision with a sound medical basis but the media in particular the Telegraph has condemned the action.

Offering free treatment for HIV should increase testing rates and will lead to fewer infections. That is reason enough for changing the policy so it is in line with Scotland and Wales. It has a long term economic basis as well; HIV causes AIDS which is an acute life threatening condition that would be treated by the NHS anyway at a cost to the taxpayer.

Apart from the cold logical reasons for treating all treating HIV patients on the NHS the is a moral argument that we can not, regardless of our political views on immigration allow a person to develop AIDS in our country while there are drugs available that would help them. I would go further and say that the UKs African aid budget should be used to set up an anti retroviral pharmaceutical factory in central Africa and the the owners of the anti retroviral drug recipe should gladly provide the recipe free of charge (with the proviso that the drugs are not exported)
The Telegraph won't suggest this, I think they are another paper in need of a new name "The Broadsheet Daily Mail"

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