‘I can’t pass on HIV’ – It Starts With Me Spring 2018 Campaign

The spring phase of the It Starts With Me campaign will start on Monday 16 April 2018.

The focus of this phase will be on promoting the impact of HIV medication on prevention.

The campaign aims to:

  • promote awareness and confidence in the message that effective HIV treatment stops the transmission of the virus, based on the evidence supporting this.
  • challenge HIV stigma by sharing real stories of people living with HIV who demonstrate how effective treatment is and that they are not passing on the virus.
  • encourage people living with HIV to continue to take treatment, both for the health benefits it produces and to stop them from being able to pass on HIV.

The campaign will be delivered mainly via online and print advertising.

Campaign briefing

If you would like to know more about this phase of the campaign please have a look at our Spring Campaign Briefing [PDF].

The briefing will provide you with

  • a summary of key definitions.
  • the evidence which demonstrates the effectiveness of HIV treatment on reducing transmission.
  • information on how you can get involved.

Social media pack

We’ve created a social media pack to help you promote the spring campaign from HIV Prevention England.

Remember to sign up to our newsletter to get the latest updates from HIV Prevention England.

Kantar Public publishes new It Starts With Me campaign evaluation

The It Starts With Me campaign provides targeted HIV health promotion to men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African (BA) groups.

The primary objective is to increase the level of testing among MSM and BA, reduce undiagnosed and late diagnoses, reduce new HIV infections, promote HIV testing and encourage the use of condoms.

In 2016, the public information campaign was refreshed to increase empathy and emotional engagement by highlighting people’s personal stories in the context of their living environment.

Evaluation of the campaign was conducted by Kantar Public in December 2016, following the spike in campaign activity associated with National HIV Testing Week in late November. Two online surveys, one among each of MSM and BA, were conducted.

The evaluation found that:

  • There continues to be a high level of awareness of the campaign and other HIV prevention materials, particularly among MSM.
  • The refreshed campaign has been successful in increasing emotional engagement and empathy, and has increased the normalisation of being tested.
  • While the main message taken from the campaign continues to be ‘get tested’ this year, more MSM in particular also took a ‘take responsibility’ message from the ads.
  • Knowledge of the need for testing is high, as is the level of reported testing. As a result, the campaign can continue to move beyond the singular testing message and maintain that greater emphasis on responsibility and other supporting messages.

Kantar Public ‘It Starts With Me’ 2016 campaign evaluation [PDF]

Source: Kantar Public

Support We Started Something on Facebook

If you work for a sexual health or HIV organisation, or a Local Authority Public Health team, you can use these suggested Facebook posts to support the We Started Something campaign.

We Started Something is the summer campaign for It Starts With Me, celebrating the progress that people have made in stopping HIV in the UK and encouraging everyone to continue to play their part.

How to use the suggested posts

1. Go to Facebook and start a new post. Copy and paste the text of one of our suggested posts, including the bit.ly link. It is important to ensure that you copy the link as it leads to a specific page relevant to the call to action of each post.

2. Download the selection of images provided and choose one to share with your post.

3. And… post!

At the bottom of this blog we’ve also included a few email banners for you to use.

Suggested post 1

In the UK we’re testing more for HIV than ever.

But still about 13% of people living with HIV in the UK are not aware they have it. Most new HIV infections come from unprotected sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV.

Find out if you need to test: http://bit.ly/2wgNVev

Download images for this post

Suggested post 2

The number of people living with undiagnosed HIV in the UK is the lowest ever.

Most new HIV infections come from unprotected sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV, so we can’t stop until everyone is diagnosed.

Find out if you need to test: http://bit.ly/2wgNVev

Download images for this post

Suggested post 3

People are starting treatment sooner than ever.

However, about 39% of adults in 2015 found out they had HIV when it may have already damaged their health. The sooner you find out you have HIV, the better it is for your health.

Find out if you need to test: http://bit.ly/2wgNVev

Download images for this post

Suggested post 4

More people with HIV are on treatment in the UK than ever before and many are now starting treatment early to protect their health and to stop them passing on HIV to others.

Find out more on how treatment is helping to stop HIV: http://bit.ly/2tTYsvk

Download images for this post

Suggested post 5

Someone on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV to others which will help us end the epidemic once and for all.

Find out more on how treatment is helping to stop HIV: http://bit.ly/2tTYsvk

Download images for this post

Suggested post 6

Most new HIV  infections come from unprotected sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV – so we all need to look after ourselves. Condoms are the best barrier against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.

Find the best condom for you: http://bit.ly/2w126oC

Download images for this post

Suggested post 7

Most new infections come from unprotected sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV – so we all need to look after ourselves.  Condoms, treatment and PrEP help to protect from HIV infection.

Find out how to stay protected: http://bit.ly/2uTEbr6

Download images for this post


We Started Something email banners

Simply right-click the banner you prefer and choose the option to save the image to your computer.


It Starts With Me: real people, real stories

Today is the launch of the refreshed It Starts With Me campaign. The campaign champions strong individuals who are playing their part in stopping HIV: whether someone is HIV positive, negative or making the decision to test for the first time. They are doing something and have embraced the ‘It Starts With Me’ spirit.

Meet two of our campaign volunteers

Adam, 29, is excited to be part of the campaign and promote the message that there is no need to be afraid of HIV.

‘I’m not HIV positive but I know people who are living normally thanks to the treatment they take. I found out from them and my own research how much HIV has changed and that it’s treatable’ he said.

‘I think the main reason people shouldn’t be scared to get tested is because knowing you’ve got HIV is better than not knowing – at least that way you can get treated – and you are actually safer with someone who has HIV and is undetectable on treatment, than someone whose status you don’t know. I play my part in stopping the stigma around HIV by openly talking about it and regular check-ups. I’m proud that I know my status.'


Nana, 34, also cares deeply about taking action to stop HIV.

‘I’m very passionate about HIV prevention because I feel a duty to my community to do it. We can stop HIV if we all make the small personal commitment to get tested regularly.

‘It’s simple - if people get tested and are positive; they get help, they get treatment. If they test and are negative, they seek to remain negative. That’s just about it.’

What does he do to help stop HIV? ‘I get tested regularly because I know the facts about HIV. I’m standing up and making a difference.’


How can I get involved?

All organisations engaged in HIV prevention can order free It Starts With Me resources to support their work, including outreach and community events.

Some of the resources available to order include wallet leaflets, posters, booklets, stickers and display stands. Resources may be ordered free of charge.

For enquiries about campaign resources and further information please email hperesources@tht.org.uk.

Visit the new It Starts With Me website

Order resources

Launch date of the new look It Starts With Me Campaign

ISWM_2016_initial_briefing 218x300We’re pleased to be able to announce that the new look It Starts With Me campaign will launch on 20 September 2016.

Since 2013, the national campaign has used social marketing, local engagement and policy work to increase HIV prevention knowledge and behaviours – including testing and condom use – in the nation’s most at-risk groups. The recent evaluation by TNS-Global revealed that while successful, there are more opportunities for the campaign to have greater impact. We hope to incorporate the evaluation feedback into the refreshed campaign.

The campaign aims to provide clear, consistent messages and activities across the country. These will seek to encourage individual responsibility, increase HIV testing and preventative behaviours and improve HIV knowledge.

The key elements of the campaign include video, advertising and provision of HIV prevention resources. Video, digital and print media will effectively promote messages of accessibility and acceptability of testing.

Find out more from our briefing document [PDF]