Greater Manchester is a city region in the North West of England with a rich industrial heritage. Made up of 10 boroughs and nearly 3 million people; more than 6,100 people are thought to be living with HIV in 2018. It is a high prevalence area with 3.15 per 1,000 of the population diagnosed with HIV, with the City of Manchester having extremely high prevalence at 6.68 per 1,000 in 2019.
In 2018 Greater Manchester launched as a Fast-Track City with all 10 council leaders and the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, signing up. Over £1 million is committed to a bold plan to end new HIV transmissions in Greater Manchester (HIVe phase 1).
The Fast-Track City initiative committee, sits within the Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network and includes clinical and community sector representation, people living with HIV, public health, primary care, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP), and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority/Mayor’s office.
The focus is on translating global goals, objectives and targets into local plans building upon, strengthening and leveraging existing HIV-specific and -related programmes and resources to:
- Attain 90-90-90 targets
- Increase use of combination HIV prevention services
- Improve the quality of life of those living with HIV
- Reduce to zero the negative impact of stigma and discrimination
- Establish a common, web-based platform to allow for real-time monitoring of progress
HIVe is the operational arm of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, led by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and sits within the Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network. HIVe works alongside HIV and sexual health, clinical and community services, and others, to achieve Greater Manchester’s HIV ambitions.
In 2019 Public Health England figures (2018 data) for the United Nations’ AIDS targets had been exceeded for Greater Manchester at 92-98-97.
With a strong emphasis on marginalised and disadvantaged communities, including ethnic minorities and LGBT+ people, the work within the HIVe programme includes:
- Scaling up testing opportunities
- Enhanced services that enable people to take charge of their sexual health and plan a safer, enjoyable sex life
- Ensuring those who test positive for HIV receive treatment and support they need
- Award-winning campaign and awareness raising ‘HIV: Let’s sort this together’
On signing the Paris Declaration, Mayor Andy Burnham said, “We are doing ground-breaking work in Greater Manchester to tackle HIV, and by joining Fast-Track Cities we are now part of a global network of cities committed to ending HIV where we can share expertise and speak with a united worldwide voice.”
Greater Manchester’s key opinion leader is Dr Orla McQuillan, get in touch at Orla.McQuillan@mft.nhs.uk
Quotes from our partners
Patrick Ettenes, Expert patient and activist living with HIV
“The next step is education, to see stigma decrease and for people to have better awareness of HIV.”
Eleanor Roaf, Co-Chair of Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network and Interim Director of Public Health, Trafford www.trafford.gov.uk
“By the City leaders and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, signing the declaration and getting us involved in Fast-Track Cities it shows that as an urban area we are really taking this seriously; and the extra money we are getting to reduce HIV gives us a such an opportunity to push this forward.”
Orla McQuillan, Clinical Co-Chair of Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network and Consultant in GUM and HIV Care for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust www.mft.nhs.uk
“Fast-Track Cities and HIVe are two pieces of work that are providing political power and financial back up to make sure that the fight to control and eliminate HIV carries on, and builds on the really good basis that we’ve already got within Greater Manchester.”
Dave Boulger, Head of Population Health Transformation, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership www.gmhsc.org.uk
“Greater Manchester has been a vanguard in challenging stigma associated with HIV, we have inspirational clinicians right at the frontline responding to the challenge, we have a vibrant voluntary sector supporting those who have the greatest need, we now recognize that we need political will power. The Mayor and the 10 Local Authority Leaders signing up to the Fast-Track Cities initiative and the money from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, makes that ambition a reality – challenging stigma, normalising HIV testing and the right services for supporting those who are highest risk of acquiring HIV and living with HIV.”
Marlon Morais, GP HIV Champion (Manchester CCG) www.mhcc.nhs.uk
“Most of the diagnoses are not coming from primary care, but a lot of the people who receive these diagnoses (up to 75% in last three years) are accessing primary care, so there is a disjunct there. We are going to try and see if we can improve that access to testing in primary care and see if we can pick up some of the unknown cases. A lot of people are scared to get tested as they are scared of having the diagnosis, but actually, there is evidence that some people are living longer because of having the positive diagnosis, because of excellent treatments, changes to a healthier lifestyle and the health checks and risk management that come with it.”
Steph Mallas, CEO (now retired) George House Trust (PaSH partner) ght.org.uk
“U=U is the key message to get out there – HIV has changed, if you are diagnosed early, you can have as long a life as someone who is not diagnosed with HIV – get tested and know your status.”
Rob Cookson, Deputy Chief Executive LGBT Foundation (PaSH Partner) lgbt.foundation
“Greater Manchester is showing its commitment to end all new cases of HIV within a generation by joining this global Fast-Track Cities initiative. In the 1980s, Greater Manchester led the way in protesting how people living with HIV were being treated- tackling stigma and fighting for people’s equal rights as well, therefore, deserves to be on the global stage.”
Emma Zurowski, Programme Lead BHA for Equality (PaSH Partner) gmpash.org.uk
“We are now part of a global network in the fight to end all new cases of HIV, and part of the solidarity all round the world. In terms of prevention and support, we are working together, with a strong clear ambition passion and commitment”