Every 90 minutes, someone in England is diagnosed with HIV.
As a clinician in sexual health, you will know how vital it is to prevent HIV transmission and to ensure it is diagnosed in a timely fashion. A quarter of people living with HIV in England don’t know they have it and, across the UK, almost half are diagnosed after they should have started treatment. This briefing tells you about a new national initiative to reduce undiagnosed HIV and tackle its spread – one you can be a part of.
Early diagnosis and treatment as prevention are vital in limiting onward transmission. Awareness of HIV testing services, particularly among those most at risk (men who have with men, and black African people), are crucial both for securing the long-term health of people with as-yet undiagnosed HIV and for preventing new infections.
It Starts With Me
- To tackle these issues nationally, the Government is funding a new national programme, HIV Prevention England (HPE), managed by Terrence Higgins Trust. In April 2013 HPE will launch an on-going campaign, called It Starts With Me. We want you to be a part of this campaign; it starts with you, too.
- It Starts With Me aims to help people understand how their individual behaviour plays a vital part in this new push to finally stop HIV harming their communities. The campaign targets those most at risk of HIV – gay men and African people.
- The campaign opens a new chapter in the history of HIV prevention. Our reliance on condom use alone to halt the spread of HIV is over. We now know that effective treatment with anti-HIV drugs for people living with HIV dramatically reduces their risk of passing the virus on. Treatment as prevention is a major tool that, alongside HIV testing, early diagnosis and using condoms, moves us towards the goal of ending the HIV epidemic. You play a vital role within that.
What the campaign will offer over the next two years
- Local delivery partners (community organisations) across England will support the campaign through outreach, resource distribution, community events and enhanced testing activity.
- A campaign website featuring practical tools like a quiz to check your HIV risk, a clinic finder, information on getting discount condoms, as well as information, videos and stories www.startswithme.org.uk
- Our local delivery partners will have materials to support their work with us, and some of these materials – such as posters and videos – will be available for everyone to use.
Facebook and Twitter
- www.facebook.com/startswithme (for gay men)
- www.facebook.com/startswithmeuk (for African people)
- Twitter: @startswith_me
- Adverts on Facebook, Google, the gay and African press, magazines and lifestyle publications, on gay dating sites, outdoors and via mobile apps and direct messaging.
It Starts With Me will run for the duration of the campaign, but there will be regular “mini-campaigns” within this with specific messages:
Timetable for 2013
- 25 April Launch of It Starts With Me
- June Condom mini-campaign
- October HIV testing mini-campaign
- November National HIV Testing Week
It starts with you!
- Doctors, nurses, health advisers and pharmacists working in clinics are an absolutely vital part of HIV prevention, by providing HIV testing and treatment, supporting people living with HIV to reduce their risk of passing on the virus, and encouraging people to get their friends and partners to test. We would particularly value your involvement and support through:
- Displaying It Starts With Me posters in your clinics – in April, all GU services will receive a copy of our poster aimed at African people, a poster aimed at MSM, and more information about the campaign. We will also be making editable posters available online that will allow you to add details about your clinic before printing them out.
- Displaying our information video on TV screens in your clinic – a short video will be available, designed to work both with and without sound. This will be freely available to download. A link to the download will be available from 25 April at www.tht.org.uk and www.hpe.org.uk
Lending your support online – you can add a link or a banner ad to your website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to join in the conversation.
- Working with your local delivery partner – some areas will have an HPE local delivery partner who will want to work with you on the campaign locally. If you have not yet been contacted, please email us for further information.
- Participating in National HIV Testing Week 2013 – last year, we ran England’s first National HIV Testing Week. Thanks to widespread support (and in particular from clinics), it was a great success and we will be running the week again in 2013. Your support will be vital and we will be in touch with you again in the near future about this.
- We would like to keep in touch with you to let you know what’s happening. Our monthly HPE email newsletter, produced by NAM, will have the latest information on our work. You can view past copies and sign up to the mailing list at http://www.aidsmap.com/hpe.
- You can find more information about HPE, the organisations participating, how you can support our work and how we can support your work at www.tht.org.uk/our-charity/About-us/Our-work/HIV-Prevention-England. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.