Below is a brief overview of some of the major projects we are currently working on. If you would like to provide information about any of these areas or if there are other issues that you think we should be working on please let us know.
Read about some of our recent achievements here.
Making the case for HIV support services
It is well-recognised that support services – such as peer support programmes, and information and advocacy services – are an essential part of effective HIV care. Increasing financial pressure on local government is threatening the future of these vital services, meaning many people cannot access the support they need.
We are working to establish a consensus on what services must be available for people living with HIV. By gathering evidence and views from service providers, people living with HIV, clinicians and local authorities, we will develop a picture of what needs to be available, and what is available, in local authorities across the country. This project will provide essential information to advocate for the consistent provision of effective support services for people living with HIV.
Setting an agenda for HIV prevention in the UK heterosexual population
We are taking a fresh look at the HIV prevention for the UK heterosexual population - including but not limited to the most-affected group, Africa-born men and women.
NAT hosted an expert seminar on this topic in March and we are now developing policy recommendations based on what we heard, to help inform plans for the future of the national HIV prevention programme for England.
Policy Lead- Sarah Radcliffe
Campaigning for access to PrEP
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an effective way to prevent HIV transmission and involves HIV negative people taking HIV medication to avoid HIV acquisition from a sexual partner. NAT is playing a leading role in campaigning for PrEP to be made available as soon as possible from the NHS to those who need it. NAT is represented on the HIV Clinical Reference Group working group examining the case for commissioning PrEP on the NHS. NAT is also bringing together community organisations to promote joint advocacy on this issue – and a community statement is being prepared calling for PrEP to be available from the NHS as soon as possible
Policy Lead- Yusef Azad
Residential and Domiciliary Care - producing a best practice framework for HIV
We are undertaking a project to look at residential and domiciliary care for people living with HIV. The project will result in a best practice guide on HIV for UK providers of residential and domiciliary care.
People living with HIV and on treatment are now likely to have a normal life span and are living into later life - with one in four people living with HIV now over 50. However, this positive news for people living with HIV has implications for the services they receive and will need in the future. It means that providers of residential and domiciliary care need to be prepared and have the policies in place to provide high quality appropriate care.
The guide will seek to ensure that everyone living with HIV receives integrated and person-focused care, which respects their dignity and independence, whether they are receiving care at home or in a residential setting. It will cover a range of issues including confidentiality, access to HIV treatment, access to psychological support, infection control policies, impact of co-morbidities, dignity and human rights as well as ensuring care staff have a basic understanding of HIV and the needs of people living with HIV and feel confident in delivering care to them.
We are interested to hear about from people living with HIV or supporting those living with HIV about their experience of this increasingly important sector.
Policy Lead - Eleanor Briggs
NAT has learnt that some funeral directors have refused to fully handle funeral arrangements for HIV positive people who have died. NAT will be working to address this discrimination and secure changes in policy and practice as soon as possible. We are now waiting to participate in the forthcoming review of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance pertaining to funeral directors, which we have reason to believe is at the root of such practices.
Policy lead - Eleanor Briggs
Other things we are currently working on include:
- Personal Independence Payment and HIV- Engaging with the development of the new benefit assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which will replace DLA, and ensuring that the needs of people of HIV are considered in this process. In February 2014 we produced an updated Factsheet on PIP. Policy Lead - Sarah Radcliffe
- Improving HIV care in immigration detention- Working with NHS England and Public Health England to ensure Immigration Removal Centres consistently provide high quality HIV testing, treatment and care to people in detention. Policy Lead - Sarah Radcliffe
- Stigma - NAT is collating evidence of anti-stigma interventions that work. We hope that this work can inform recommendations for future work to challenge HIV-related stigma. Policy lead - Kat Smithson
Please click here for NAT’s complete 2014/15 policy workplan