Unheard Voices

Unheard Voices centres Black people living with or at risk of HIV in conversations about their health services

One Voice Network and National AIDS Trust have come together to build evidence, skills and connections with decision-makers to empower Black communities and embed a culture of involvement and co-design.

Black communities in the UK are often left behind when it comes to progress on ending HIV transmissions and stigma, despite being disproportionately affected.

Unheard Voices aims to end the structural inequalities and barriers that affect the health of Black people living with or at risk of HIV in the UK. Uptake of HIV testing, the HIV prevention drug PrEP, and HIV care will only increase with Black communities leading the conversations.

Unheard Voices is a partnership between National AIDS Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charity, and One Voice Network, a collective of 12 Black-led community organisations addressing health inequalities. 

The Unheard Voices Report

The Unheard Voices report is the result of this partnership. This publication gives key recommendations to ensure meaningful engagement with Black communities living with and affected by HIV.

It also demonstrates the effectiveness of co-production (where communities members are funded to make decisions on and contribute to the design of HIV services) while recommending further funding to fully realise these ambitions.

The report follows in-depth consultation with London local authority health commissioners to gain their perspectives on how practices can be improved.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Florence Eshalomi MP, MP for Vauxhall and Co-Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group for HIV, AIDS and Sexual Health have contributed with forewords to the publication.

Read the report here.

Black African people are disproportionately affected by HIV

Despite the fact that Black African people make up only 2.4% of the UK population, they comprised 28% new HIV diagnoses in 2022. In the same year, Black Caribbeans was one of a few groups who experienced a rise in late diagnosis rates, so their health outcomes are also at risk.

Our goal is to see a health and support system which offers equitable standards of care for Black African and Caribbean communities and ensures they are not disproportionately impacted by HIV or HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

The Unheard Voices project is funded by City Bridge Foundation.

We are changing things by

Establishing a panel of Black community members to review upcoming research on HIV prevention, treatments and care.

Working with local authorities to integrate Black people’s lived experience in every step of the HIV service design process, from ideas to implementation.

Creating new connections between local and national decision-makers and Black-led community organisations

Enhancing understanding among healthcare providers of the experiences of Black people living with HIV and others in Black communities

Working together