Public Health England funds 12 new HIV prevention projects

£600,000 of funding has been awarded from the HIV Prevention Innovation Fund

Public Health England (PHE) has announced the twelve projects which have been awarded funding of £600,000 in total from the HIV Prevention Innovation Fund for 2017/18.

Projects that provided innovation were welcome, especially those that addressed issues around the wider determinants of high-risk behaviour, prompt diagnosis of HIV and other STIs, and HIV stigma.

In 2015 an estimated 101,000 people in the UK were living with HIV, with 13,500 unaware and at risk of unknowingly passing on the virus to others.

Two examples of local initiatives receiving funding from PHE are the Sex Talk project run by National Prison Radio which will create information designed for prisoners to address issues of stigma around HIV and the Sholay Love project run by NAZ which aims to raise awareness of HIV and STIs and encourage testing amongst south Asian gay men in London, Bradford and Leeds.

Commenting on the Innovation Fund and the winning projects, Public Health Minister Steve Brine said:

“Now in its third year, the HIV Prevention Fund continues to foster local innovation projects, which aim to tackle HIV in more targeted and impactful ways, especially for those most at risk. The twelve projects announced today will boost local action and spread best practice to further reduce rates of HIV across the whole country.”

Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement, Public Health England said:

“The HIV Innovation Fund continues to foster new approaches to HIV prevention. The twelve projects receiving funding have been chosen as they offer new and exciting ways to address key issues in HIV prevention, working particularly with groups at high risk. These projects will help share innovation and best practice around the country, helping other areas to replicate progress in London on lowering rates of HIV.”

The twelve projects awarded funding are:

  • Digital anti-stigma campaign (developing digital content, videos and social marketing targeting higher risk communities) – Martin Fisher Foundation, Brighton and Hove
  • I Am Because We Are (Challenging HIV issues and stigma within black African communities) – BHA For Equality, Greater Manchester
  • Improving uptake and safe use of PrEP in underserved populations (Creating online assessment tools for PrEP and facilitating safe usage) – Terrence Higgins Trust, Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos.
  • MAP Tyne and Wear (capturing local knowledge about male sex workers to inform and shape other sexual health services) – Gateshead, Sunderland and North Tyneside
  • “MIND” The Gap (developing a HIV and sexual health training programme for mental health service staff) – Herts Aid, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire
  • PrEP (raising awareness of PrEP amongst MSM, BME and trans communities) – Spectra, South West London
  • Prepping for PrEP (improving awareness of PrEP amongst at-risk African communities by engaging key community members) – Positive East, East London and Hertfordshire
  • PROMOTE (creating digital outreach and support services for male sex workers and their clients) – Bristol Drugs Project, Bristol
  • Reducing Barriers to Testing (facilitating self-testing within black African communities – Terrence Higgins Trust, Wolverhampton
  • Sex Talk on National Prison Radio (creating information for prisoners to address issues of stigma around HIV) – Prison Radio Association, England, Wales and Scotland
  • Sholay Love (raising awareness of HIV and STIs and encouraging testing amongst south Asian gay men) – NAZ, London, Bradford, Leeds
  • The Morning After Project (providing education and harm reduction in chemsex via a dedicated project worker) – Summit House Support, Dudley.