William Eichler 29 November 2018

Council chiefs call for funding to ‘step up’ fight against HIV

Local authority leaders are urging the Government to reverse the £600m of cuts to public health grants to help them ‘step up’ the fight against HIV.

New data from Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that the UK is one of the first countries to meet the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, according to the targets set by the United Nations organisation tasked with fighting the virus.

By the same year, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will also receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

The PHE’s findings show that, in 2017, 92% of the estimated 101,600 people living with HIV infection in the UK were diagnosed, 98% of people diagnosed were receiving treatment, and 97% of people receiving treatment were virally suppressed.

Local authorities welcomed the news that the targets were being met, but warned against complacency.

‘Councils, which are responsible for commissioning sexual health and HIV support services, have overseen a significant increase in HIV testing, deploying innovative methods such as home sampling and rapid testing in sexual health and drugs clinics, as well as targeting those communities most in need of support,’ said Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board.

‘It is important however not to be complacent, and unfortunately, many barriers to HIV testing remain. Stigma and discrimination still deter people from taking an HIV test. Many people still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic.’

In their report on the findings, Public Health England called on councils to consider how they can ensure the population groups who are at increased risk can access HIV testing online and in community settings.

The national body also urged them to ensure that all commissioned HIV testing programmes have a well-defined referral pathway to HIV care for all people with a reactive/positive test result.

Councils should also take account of the combination HIV prevention perspective when commissioning, according to PHE.

Cllr Hudspeth said that for local authorities to take a more proactive role in fighting HIV, the Government had to reverse the public health cuts.

‘Government can help councils step up the fight against HIV by reversing the £600m cuts to councils’ public health grants which fund vital sexual health services and prevent people from becoming seriously ill and requiring more expensive NHS treatment further down the line,’ he said.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.