HIV spike shows need for drug consumption rooms and access to preventative treatments

Responding to reports that the rate of new HIV infections in Scotland has increased by 16% in the past year, while the rate of new infections has fallen by 17% across Britain as a whole, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"We need serious action to address the spike in HIV infections in Glasgow and across Scotland.

"A safer drug consumption facility would help stem the HIV outbreak and reduce spiralling drug deaths. The Scottish Government doesn't need Home Office permission to set this in motion. A heroin assisted treatment programme, coupled with the provision of clean needles and medical advice, can be established now.

"There are other steps that can be taken to address this disturbing spike. For example, the Health Secretary must ensure disparities in the provision of PrEP, a drug which dramatically reduces the chances of being infected, are ironed out.

"Scotland needs to follow the evidence of what works."

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