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.
Understanding the impact of changes to public services on people living with HIV
In recent months there have been a significant number of changes to the way that public services including health, social care and benefits, are delivered. NAT wants to know how these changes are affecting people living with HIV and if they are receiving the support that they need. We will be working with local HIV organisations to systematically capture case studies of the experience of living with HIV in 2013, focussing on access to healthcare, social care, housing and benefits, and use our findings to inform our policy work in these areas.
Policy lead: Sarah Radcliffe
The HIV-related policy agenda for African communities in the UK
NAT is undertaking a project to identify what aspects of the HIV-related needs of African communities in the UK can be addressed by changes and developments in policy, in other words by decision-makers doing things differently. The project will involve desk-based research and discussion/interviews with key stakeholders. The output will be a report mapping the HIV-related policy agenda for African communities in the UK. The aim will be to use this output to refocus activity in the HIV sector and beyond, securing real advances in how we respond to the HIV epidemic amongst Africans in the UK. Anyone wishing to contribute to this project or find out more should contact email@example.com
Confidentiality of HIV status within the NHS
We are collecting information on the current law, policy and practice within the NHS relating to the handling and sharing of personal medical information of people living with HIV. We will investigate what legislation will be in place to give confidentiality protections for people living with HIV when the Venereal Disease Regulations will no longer apply and will be revoked. We will also consider the current and proposed use of the NHS number for people living with HIV.
Policy Lead - Yusef Azad
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 - Sally Thomas
Housing and HIV
Housing is rising up the national agenda due to cuts in funding, the reforms introduced in the Localism Act 2011, and through the changes being introduced to housing benefit. These are all having an impact on those who need access to good quality affordable housing. NAT is currently focusing on the impact of the these changes on people living with HIV and how local authorities are potentially using the new powers granted to them in Localism Act 2011 to allocate social housing.
Building on NAT's research into Housing and HIV and our practical guide for housing professionals on HIV and its impact on housing need; NAT is working to refresh our research on this important issue. In February 2103 we conducted a short survey into the housing advice and support needs of people living with HIV; and in April 2013 we published a briefing on the outcomes of this survey. Although the survey is now closed we would welcome more information how housing and HIV interact.
Policy lead – Philip Glanville
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 April 2013 we produced an updated Factsheet on PIP.
Policy Lead - Philip Glanville
- Young Gay Men and information about sex- NAT is planning a survey of young gay men, to find out where they learn about sex, sexuality and sexual health. We hope the results wil provide evidence to inform both education and health promotion for young gay men and young people generally in the UK.
Policy Lead - Tom Perry
- 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
- Treatment as prevention- NAT is campaigning for NHS England to commission and fund HIV clinics to provide 'treatment as prevention'. This would mean people with HIV who wish to start treatment before their CD4 count reaches 350 would be able to do so to protect sexual partners from the risk of HIV transmission.
Policy lead - Yusef Azad
- Improving HIV training for GPs - NAT are working to improve the HIV training and information provided to GPs in the UK. We will explore ways of engaging GPs more effectively on HIV testing in particular, including influencing key quality standards around HIV testing and diagnosis in primary care.
Policy lead- Sally Thomas