HIV Treatment Free to Everyone Who Needs It.
HIV treatment in England is now available free of charge through the National Health Service (NHS) to everybody who needs it. HIV treatment has always been available free of charge for those eligible for free NHS hospital treatment. However, some non-UK citizens and undocumented migrants were still charged for HIV treatment and care. Anxiety about high treatment costs and inability to pay was identified as a possible reason why people would not get tested for HIV. In February this year, it was announced that free HIV treatment would be made available to everyone, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. Legislation was enacted on 1 October giving this the force of law. The policy was changed in part because of the impact of HIV treatment on infectiousness. Advocates argued the public-health benefit of diagnosing and treating people with HIV, regardless of their immigration status. The change in charging policy does not apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Charges have not been enforced in either Scotland or Wales in recent years, but some people have been asked to pay for treatment in Northern Ireland. People who are not eligible for free NHS hospital treatment may still be asked to pay the costs of treating illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as of antenatal care. For more information on access to health care in the UK, visit our website.