I’m not fond of the newspaper The Daily Mail. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a UK newspaper that tries to differentiate itself from the sensationalism of tabloids but fails miserably. Therefore ‘Daily Fail’ is a much better name for the paper.
I could go into great length, covering a great number of articles that the Daily Fail has posted down the years that are worthy of being ripped to shreds. For the moment though, my focus is on the news that the NHS will be funding a revolutionary new drug in the fight against HIV.
The Daily Fail’s article is here.
A High Court judge yesterday ordered health officials to provide the daily Prep tablets – branded a ‘promiscuity pill’ by critics – costing taxpayers up to £20million a year.
NHS England will appeal because providing the £5,000 annual patient cost will hit funding for 13 other treatments.
This includes a drug to help children with cystic fibrosis breathe, prosthetic limbs for amputees, hearing implants for the deaf and stem cell treatment for adults with lymphoma.
The HIV drug the NHS must offer would be given to up to 10,000 gay men who don’t have HIV but are at high risk of being infected through unprotected sex. But critics, including one Aids charity, warn it is a strategy ‘fraught with dangers’.
They say it could encourage men to have sex with multiple partners without condoms and may even lead to higher HIV rates as it is not 100 per cent effective.
The fear it will be a ‘promiscuity drug’ is exactly that – a fear. It is based on sensationalism, which is what the Daily Fail is good at. It aims to tug at the heart-strings by suggesting other treatments will be hampered or cut by this – but elsewhere in the article goes on to quietly mention that it currently costs the NHS around £15,000 per year to treat a HIV patient, and that the drug will be cheaper than this. Odd how this particular nugget doesn’t get much fanfare.
It’s also not solely about homosexuals. This drug will be available to treat hetrosexuals with the disease as well – a fact glossed over by the Daily Fail. I guess this isn’t newsworthy when you’re pandering to a reactionary right-wing readership.
The assumptions about lifestyle are exactly that, and it’s barely restrained homophobia. I don’t know why the Daily Fail is allowed to continue to exist.