NAT (National AIDS Trust) ‘deeply concerned’ about the impact of upheaval and delay in national HIV prevention spending.
The Department of Health has announced its plans for investment in HIV prevention for 2015-16.
Spending will be as follows:
- £1.2 million to HIV Prevention England (HPE) a partnership of voluntary sector organisations led by Terrence Higgins Trust. This represents a 50% cut in funding for this project;
- Up to £500,000 on an HIV prevention Innovation Fund. Grants of between £50K and £100K will be awarded from late spring, early summer to local organisations with endorsement from their local authority;
- £150,000 to Public Health England (PHE) for reducing late diagnosis, match-funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation (this was previously announced but not as part of the national programme);
- £300,000 to PHE on a national home sampling service, delivering up to 50,000 home testing kits in partnership with local authorities across the country;
- £250,000 to PHE to monitoring and evaluation.
Deborah Gold, CEO at NAT said:
“The Minister has identified 2015-16 as a transition year for the national HIV prevention programme with an aim to work towards a longer-term and more innovative strategy for HIV prevention. NAT is calling for an open and transparent review as part of this process.
The reduction in HPE funding represents a dramatic cut to funding of voluntary sector activity on HIV prevention. The new Innovation Fund may help to plug the gap but will not be issuing grants until well after the current programme comes to an end this month. We are deeply concerned about the level of upheaval to HIV prevention provision across the country. Important enabling infrastructure will be significantly compromised by the gap in funding.
Continued investment in national HIV prevention is essential. The approach to determining how funding is invested this year could present real risks to provision; we need to learn from this. We urge the Government to ensure that in this transition year, an open, fair, timely and evidence-based programme is developed for the future.”
Notes to the editor:
Organisations wishing to express an interest in the Innovation Fund can from today email Public Health England (PHE) at HIV.firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.