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.

Free HIV postal test kits are now available across England to eligible individuals

testing kit

Since 2015, Public Health England (PHE) and a number of participating local authorities have funded a national HIV postal testing scheme for people from communities which experience a higher prevalence of HIV. These include gay and bisexual men, black Africans, and individuals who have a partner from a high prevalence country.

In support of National HIV Testing Week 2017, PHE have expanded availability of free HIV postal test kits to all areas of England. The additional tests will be available to order from now until Thursday 4 January 2018. Last year, more than 20,000 tests were ordered during a similar period and it is anticipated that even more will be distributed this year.

HIV postal test kits, or home sampling kits as they are also known, allow individuals to take a sample themselves at home by taking a finger-prick blood test. Unlike home testing kits, where the individual receives an immediate result, this postal test is then sent to a local laboratory for HIV testing and specialist management.

If a person has a reactive test result, they are contacted within five working days and given support options and information on where to get specialist services. Those with a negative result are contacted and informed within three days, or they can log in online using their unique personal code to check their results.

The national postal testing scheme complements existing HIV testing services. A postal test is highly accurate just four weeks after infection, and individuals who get a reactive result can get help in arranging a follow up clinical appointment. The scheme offers individual a viable alternative to testing in-person, and also provides the system major cost savings.

Postal HIV tests can be ordered from www.test.hiv.

Social media pack for National HIV Testing Week

We have created a social media pack to help you promote National HIV testing Week on your social media channels.

What’s in the pack?

  • Images – a selection of images for use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any another social network.
  • Logos – National HIV Testing Week logos.
  • Links – links to useful HIV testing information, tools and the self-sampling service.
  • Videos – infographic videos explaining the various ways one can get tested.
  • Suggested posts – examples of posts for Facebook and tweets for Twitter.

Download pack (excluding videos) (36Mb)
Download video 1 | video 2

Before you download the pack, here are some things to remember:

Theme

This year’s theme is Give HIV The Finger, which aims to demonstrate that getting tested for HIV is as easy as a quick finger-prick test.

We’re asking people to raise their finger and share a message of support.

Hashtag

This year’s hashtag is #HIVTestWeek. Hashtags are not case sensitive so using #hivtestweek would work as well – we’ve just used capitals to make it easier to read what the hashtag is about.

Home sampling HIV testing kits

The national home sampling HIV testing service will be available across all of England from Monday 6 November 2017 to the beginning of January 2018.  If you can, please use the bit.ly links we’ve provided in the pack when posting to social media, as they contains tracking that will help us understand if the posts lead to people ordering self-sampling kits.

Useful web tools to promote

National HIV Testing Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing opportunities to test – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing.

As such, we have created some tools to help individuals make decisions on how they would like to get tested, find out when they need to get tested and where to get tested.  These tool can be found on the It Starts With Me website. You can include links to these tools in some of your social media posts where appropriate. The site works well on both desktop and mobiles making it very easy to use the tools.

• ‘Where to test’ tool: This helps people to find out where to get a free HIV test near them by searching by either postcode or a place name.

• ‘When to test’ tool: People are invited to answer a few questions about themselves and their sexual activities and they get a recommendation on when they should get an HIV test.

• ‘Which test’ tool: This tool helps people to find out a testing option that might be suitable for them.  It helps people understand that there are different options on how one can get tested.

Download pack (excluding videos) (36Mb)
Download video 1 | video 2

For sector updates:

 

Trans-inclusive National HIV Testing Week webinar

This year we are putting a spotlight on increasing testing among trans people as part of the National HIV Testing Week campaign.

This is particularly important because globally trans people experience higher rates of HIV prevalence, and are more vulnerable to getting HIV compared to other groups. General health services may not meet the needs of trans people due to lack of awareness of trans health issues or cultural insensitivities. There is also a scarcity of specialist services.

To support a trans-inclusive National HIV Testing Week, we will be hosting an informative webinar for health professionals who provide services for trans people and the general population.

The session will cover:

  • an overview of trans health and HIV issues
  • real-life experiences of trans people
  • clinical perspectives on providing trans-inclusive services
  • practical information on how to promote a trans-inclusive service
  • tools, further information and referral options.

It will be held on Tuesday 7 November from 12.00pm to 1.30pm.

This session will be delivered in partnership with CliniQ, ClinicT, The LGBT Foundation and Yorkshire Mesmac. Special thanks to CliniQ for driving this initiative.

Register now

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