These are some of our current policy campaigns.
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 has been 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 was part of the HIV Clinical Reference Group working group examining the case for commissioning PrEP on the NHS.
However, following 18 months of work, NHS England have decided they aren’t responsible for paying for it. We disagree. That’s why we’ve started a campaign and are planning legal action.
Contact: Yusef Azad (Director of Strategy) or Eleanor Briggs (Director of Policy & Campaigns)
#WeExist: The campaign for LGBT inclusive sex education
Young LGBT people are more likely than their non-LGBT peers to experience poor sexual and mental health, yet even where Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is taught, there is no requirement to talk about same sex relationships or gender-variance. This does great harm to young LGBT students who can feel alone, ignored and unprepared for their developing social and sexual life.
We want the Government to make PSHE and SRE compulsory in all schools and to ensure that the subject content is inclusive of LGBT young people: http://www.hivaware.org.uk/raise-awareness/we-exist.
Contact: Kat Smithson (Policy & Campaigns Manager)
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.
We are also part of the Stop the Cuts campaign, which is protesting against cuts to HIV support services.
Contact: Cheryl Gowar (Policy & Campaigns Officer)
Improving access to disability benefits
A significant minority of people living wtih HIV will need to access disability benefits when their health becomes a barrier to work or to full participation in other parts of life. NAT is part of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), a coalition of 50 charities working together for a benefits system. We are also doing our own policy work on the impact of two benefits in particular:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP): We are asking welfare rights advisors and HIV support organisations to share their experiences of how the introduction of PIP has affected their clients. We would also like to hear directly from people living wtih HIV.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): We are working with Maximus Centre for Health & Disability Assessments to improve the training which ESA assessors receieve on flcutuating conditions,including HIV, so that claimants get a more accurate assessment.
Contact: Sarah Radcliffe (Senior Policy & Campaigns Manager).
These are just a few of the policy issues NAT is currently working on - find out more in our Key Issues section.