GMI Partnership launches National HIV Testing Week in London with large-scale rapid workplace HIV testing

On Tuesday 14 November The GMI Partnership, a consortium of three charities, (Positive East, METRO and Spectra) will be launching National HIV Testing Week with a large-scale rapid workplace HIV testing initiative.

Tideway is a huge construction project, located near Vauxhall, upgrading London’s infrastructure with approximately 1,000 people on site. Tideway is getting involved with National HIV Testing Week by providing workplace HIV testing alongside the GMI Partnership.

The GMI Partnership will be providing a range of services on the day, including:

  • Confidential rapid HIV testing.
  • Information and resources on sexual health and services available across London (as well as free STI screens if requested).
  • Linking people with sexual health clinics for those who want extra support.
  • Referrals to clinics for those testing reactive or needing emergency post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment.
  • Information about how to access pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), including the PrEP Impact trial.
  • Free condoms and lubricant.
  • Referrals into counselling services for those worried about the risks they are taking with their sexual health.
  • Promoting the HIV support services we provide across the GMI Partnership partner agencies.

The GMI Partnership is committed to reducing the onward transmission of HIV, and stopping the stigma that can surround testing.

For more information on this and other National HIV Testing Week events by The GMI Partnership visit their website.

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.

 

Watch the National HIV Prevention England Conference

On Thursday 18 May, HIV Prevention England hosted its biennial national HIV prevention conference in central London.

Key highlights of the conference included:

  • Overview of the changes in new diagnoses rates in London and across England; and the part which combination prevention plays on HIV incidence.
  • Update on the state of the upcoming PrEP IMPACT trial set to start in summer 2017.
  • The effect of rapid initiation of treatment on HIV transmission (Treatment as Prevention).
  • Presentation on the current state of investment in HIV prevention and testing services in England

Download the livestream programme [PDF]

If you experience any issues with the broadcast please email hpe@tht.org.uk.

Assisted HIV self-testing and self-sampling by community-based organisations in England

There has recently been a move towards online provision of HIV self-testing and self-sampling for people to test themselves. Our local activation partners, the GMI Partnership, comprised of Positive East, METRO and Spectra have been looking at how self-testing and self-sampling can be incorporated into current and future community-based HIV testing and outreach services.

There are questions about how community-based organisations can incorporate self-testing and self-sampling in their work, in order to increase access to testing for those who need it.

The GMI Partnership is a consortium of three community-based agencies (Positive East, METRO and Spectra) who provide sexual health promotion and HIV prevention services across London. In collaboration with Freedoms, the GMI Partnership deliver condom distribution and an outreach service for men who have sex with men (MSM) funded by the pan-London HIV prevention programme, as part of the Do It London campaign. Dee Wang, Research and Performance Manager at Spectra, tells us about how they are addressing self-testing and self-sampling.

‘Conducting extensive surveys via Grindr and through our face-to-face work in high-risk venues, we asked high-risk MSM about self-testing and self-sampling in a community-based setting,’ she said. ‘What we found was that community-based testing and outreach complements self-testing and self-sampling.’

Of the 2,889 MSM who undertook their survey over Grindr:

  • Only 22% understood the difference between self-testing and self-sampling.
  • Of those who did understand the difference, 30% still preferred to be tested by a professional.
  • Of the 2,889 men, 33% would prefer to be coached on how to self-test or self-sample before doing it themselves.

‘This data indicates that there is still work to be done around informing the community on the differences between self-testing and self-sampling (especially as this was a relatively HIV literate group, with 73% and 71% having heard of PEP and PrEP respectively),’ Dee said. ‘Secondly, it shows that there will always be a group of men who prefer to be tested by a professional.’

‘The finding which also stood out was that 33% of the MSM surveyed would prefer to be coached in the use of self-tests/ self-sampling tests before doing it themselves,’ said Dee. ‘These findings led us to develop the GMI community coaching model.’

GMI community coaching model

The GMI Partnership now provides community coaching with HIV testing. ‘We coach individuals on how to use both self-testing kits, and self-sampling kits. If desired, we then use the self-test kit as a point-of-care test (POCT),’ explains Norman Gillard, one of the GMI Partnership Outreach Coordinators from the METRO Charity.

Of the 159 men who GMI have so far provided with community coaching:

  • 96% agreed that they were able to better understand how self-testing for HIV works after being coached.
  • 80% felt more confident with the GMI worker supporting while doing a self-test.
  • 69% believed that they would be more comfortable to test themselves next time.

‘The GMI Partnership has always recognised that for many individuals, community-based services are the first step in a health care journey from an outreach venue into a clinic. The same may be true with self-testing and self-sampling. With the coaching model, 69% of individuals felt more comfortable with testing themselves in the future,’ Norman pointed out.

‘Still, we need to recognise that there will always be those who need to test but who would rather access services in their own community settings’.

National HPE Conference 2017

HPE Conference 2017 - Thursday 18 May 2017

The National HIV Prevention England Conference will be held on Thursday 18 May 2017 in central London.

It will bring together partners in HIV prevention including sexual health commissioners, health promoters, sexual health and HIV service providers, faith leaders working in England and other key figures and influencers in the field of HIV. The conference has the aim of facilitating the dissemination and development of best practice, alongside disseminating learning from the PHE Innovation Fund and other projects.

Download the programme [PDF]

Themes

  • Innovation in HIV prevention
  • Innovation in HIV testing
  • Community engagement/mobilisation and face-to-face interventions
  • Partnership working

Outcomes

  • Engagement with and cooperation across the HIV prevention sector
  • Increased understanding of the latest developments and current issues in HIV testing and prevention in England
  • Delegates can take away at least one new idea for local implementation

Response to past HPE conference (2014)

87 per cent of previous delegates agreed that they would ‘recommend the HPE conference to other people concerned with HIV prevention with at risk populations’.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of delegates agreed they had ‘increased their understanding of the latest developments and current issues in HIV prevention in England’, and 64 per cent agreed they had been ‘inspired to try at least one new idea in their local work practice’.

Register for the event