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Update on Fast-Track Cities HIV improvement projects


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In January 2020 Fast-Track Cities London gave 12 grants to charities to work with the NHS. The projects brought together 22 charities with nine NHS Trusts. This is an update on what the HIV projects did in 2020.

The aim of the projects is to:

  • tackle HIV stigma and discrimination
  • encourage more testing
  • improve the health of people living with HIV
  • end health inequalities by reaching out to groups of people not currently accessing HIV care

The communities we are trying to reach with these projects are immigrants, homeless people, people with substance misuse issues, Black and minority ethnic people, mothers, younger people, people who are socially isolated and various faith groups.

The improvement community went live as the pandemic hit London.

Fast-Track Cities London worked with East London NHS Foundation Trust Quality Improvement team to offer training and coaching to the projects, helping them adapt to new ways of working and delivering services. The projects formed an improvement community with training and networking meetings throughout the year, as well as one to one support and coaching.

Many of these HIV projects have managed to adapt in the face of lockdown restrictions and deliver some great results for the HIV community in London.

What have the projects achieved in 2020?

Living Well has launched the Connect Well project to tackle loneliness and isolation. So far the results have seen:

  • 159 people have been supported in 28 London boroughs
  • 120+ new care plans were created
  • Over 350 hours of 1:1 support and
  • 150+ hours of group support delivered

Positively UK and Positive East have joined doctors and nurses in multi-disciplinary team discussions, to better support people living with HIV with their overall care plans. The results so far has meant:

  • Uptake of peer support has gone up by 400%, which improves medication adherence, quality of life and reduces people lost to treatment.
  • Positive East have seen 130 patients and Positively UK have seen 90 over the past 6 months.

Outreach testing has been difficult during the pandemic as it relies on community and hospitality settings. Metro and Doctors of the World have prepared a mobile bus ready to test 3,000 people a year once the lockdown lifts. The Volt project launched by African Advocacy Foundation equipped homeless shelters to do 300 HIV tests a year.

The Positive Champions project, from African Advocacy Foundation and NAM Aidsmap, aims to train people as HIV champions and drive-up testing in Black communities. The project will be able to do 900 HIV tests per year targeting Black African and minority ethnic people in community settings.

Metro’s stay and play project is working with 8 families to support HIV positive mothers and children, helping them with their treatment and care.

The Faith Works project from NAZ, African Advocacy Foundation and Jewish AIDS Trust has established a faith leaders forum and surveyed leaders from three different faith communities about knowledge and attitudes of HIV. The HIV training programme is ready to roll out once lockdown restrictions lift.

Change Grow Live works with drug and alcohol clinics and has already delivered training in Waltham Forest. This has already seen HIV testing increase from 30% to 75% since October 2020. They’ve also delivered training to 9 clinics on HIV treatment and support, Chemsex and HIV interactions with prescribed medication.

Sophia Forum’s GROWS project is working with women living with HIV to design a peer mentor and educational programme to tackle stigma and support women as they grow older to live well. They’ve also launched their first educational video which has already been viewed 1,000 times.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing what these projects have been up to on our social media channels. Please follow and share our channels to help us spread the word.

If you are interested in finding out about other funding we have coming up this year email hlp.londonftci@nhs.net.

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