The population of Bristol is estimated to be 463,400. Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of the ten ‘Core Cities’ in Great Britain. Bristol has an estimated 1,000 people living with HIV. The diagnosed HIV prevalence is 2.7 per 1,000 population aged 15-59. This is considered to be an area of high HIV prevalence (above 2.0 per 1,000) and Black African people are disproportionately affected.
In 2019 Bristol City Council joined forces with Brigstowe, the University of Bristol, Public Health England, Unity Sexual Health, North Bristol NHS Trust, Terence Higgins Trust, the CCG and members of the public to form the Bristol Fast-Track Cities Steering Group, which leads, develops and directs Fast-Track Cities work in Bristol. Since the Fast-Track Cities declaration was signed, the Steering Group has been joined by the Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) and Black South West Network.
Bristol signed up to be a Fast-Track City at a World Aids Day event at the end of 2019 where Mayor Marvin Rees co-signed the Paris declaration. He said “We will work to increase HIV testing in our under-served and marginalised communities, reduce our late diagnosis rate and tackle HIV-related stigma and discrimination across the city. By adopting the Fast-Track Cities initiative’s principles in Bristol and pioneering a ‘One City’ approach to tackle health inequalities, I am confident that we can rise to this challenge and end new HIV infections by 2030.”
The Bristol Fast-Track Cities Initiative Steering Group has been working to meet the requirements of being a Fast-Track City, which have included running public consultations and internal workshops. These activities culminated in the production of the Bristol HIV health needs assessment, which informed the Fast-Track Cities action plan. These documents act as templates for the activities of everyone affiliated with Fast-Track Cities in Bristol. The action plan mandated the formation of three separate work streams, which are dedicated to the specific goals of the first 24 months of Fast-Track Cities.
- Increasing HIV testing
- Tackling HIV stigma
- Systems leadership