New report finds high recognition of It Starts With Me and National HIV Testing Week

Cover of TNS reportSocial research company TNS-BMRB has published their report of the survey they conducted at the end of 2015 on the ‘It Starts With Me’ campaign, including National HIV Testing Week. The report was commissioned by Public Health England.

Two surveys were carried out online: one for gay/bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM); and one for men and women from Black African (BA) communities.

The results revealed that campaign recognition was high, with 84 per cent of MSM and 75 per cent of BAs recognising some element of the campaign.

The survey showed the campaign was successful in improving HIV-related knowledge and attitudes: two-thirds of MSM respondents and three-quarters of BAs realised how quick and easy testing is, thanks to the campaign. In addition, many (78 per cent MSM, 76 per cent BA) agreed that the ads made them think it’s normal to get tested for HIV.

Around half of MSM (47 per cent) and two fifths of BA (39 per cent) who were shown the ads stated that they encouraged them to get tested. In terms of actions, 35 per cent of MSM and 23 per cent of BAs who saw the campaign took steps to get tested.

The ads also motivated safer sex behaviours, with around a quarter in each group reportedly encouraged to use condoms during intercourse.

Some challenges which the survey revealed were that for MSM, 14 per cent had never had an HIV test, and 12 per cent did not know where to get tested. For Black African respondents, 23 per cent had never had a test and 12 per cent did not know where to get one.

Read the full report [PDF].

Local Activation Partner applications open today

Applications to become a Local Activation Partner (LAP) for the HPE programme open today – 13 July 2016. LAPs will provide local activity to support the It Starts With Me campaign and National HIV Testing Week.

The activity will target men who have sex with men (MSM) and Black African (BA) communities.

The activity will fall into two categories:

  1. Face-to-face/outreach interventions.
  2. Point-of-care HIV testing.

Applications will be accepted from voluntary sector organisations in England. In areas where there is not a voluntary sector organisation, applications will be considered from statutory service providers.

Please email hpe@tht.org.uk to receive the application pack.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 10 August 2016.

National HIV Testing Week 2016

National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) 2016 will start on Saturday 19 November 2016.

NHTW 2016 will be the fifth annual testing week to promote HIV testing to gay and bisexual men and black African men and women.

Last year hundreds of organisations participated by raising awareness, providing extra testing opportunities and promoting services - with many using the free NHTW resources. HIV Prevention England welcomes the participation of any organisation whose work reaches England’s key populations affected by HIV.

More information on NHTW.

Gay Men’s Sex Survey results

HPE funded Sigma Research, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, to conduct the 17th Gay Men’s Sex Survey (GMSS). The survey was community-recruited and is concerned with HIV and STI infections, sex between men, HIV prevention needs and service uptake. Over 15,000 men completed the survey and the findings have now been published.

The results [PDF] shows that whilst more gay and bisexual men than ever before are getting tested for HIV, a quarter have never had an HIV test, and a third are unsure about their HIV status.

Men’s ‘sexual happiness’ and it’s relationship with HIV infection is an issue which the report examines, and the findings indicate that men living with diagnosed HIV are no more, or less, likely to be unhappy with their sex life than men who have not tested HIV positive

As well as exploring HIV prevention opportunities, capabilities and motivations using a range of indicators about unmet prevention need, the report also looks at a number of risk and precaution behaviours related to sex and drugs, and examines data about the performance of HIV prevention interventions.

Report on HPE stakeholder event – Monday 9 May

HPE Stakeholder Event Report 218x300We ran an event on Monday 9 May inviting key stakeholders from across the HIV prevention sector. Attendees were presented with the future plans for the programme and discussed HPE’s future plans for local delivery, including what funding is available and how to get involved. Sixty-three people attended and the afternoon covered:

  • reflections on the previous four years of HIV Prevention England
  • an overview of the national HIV prevention programme going forward, how organisations can get involved and what funding opportunities are available.
  • how the programme can best support local HIV prevention services and add value
  • input on the development of the campaign and the sector development programme.

Yusef Azad from National AIDS Trust presented on the developments in HIV prevention since 2012, and Taku Mukiwa and Cary James from Terrence Higgins Trust presented on HPE’s achievements since 2012 and plans for going forward from 2016.

A report on the event, along with presentations from the day, can be found below: