Projects including Bristol Drugs Project & Terrence Higgins Trust’s PROMOTE have reached around 170,000 people at risk of, or living with HIV during 2017 and 2018.

The fund helps support community –led interventions via online campaigns, outreach, testing, support, media and arts projects and has just announced the 14 pioneering projects which receive a share of the 2018-2019 fund of £600,000. The hope is that these projects can then be replicated and scaled up in the future.

PROMOTE which was run in collaboration between Bristol Drugs Project & Terrence Higgins Trust received funding from the fund last year and focused on reducing the risk of HIV in male sex workers (MSW) and sex workers of other genders. Targeting between 50 and 150 MSW in Bristol the project found that building a rapport with community members during online outreach was an important first step and that peer support groups are vital in supporting their health and wellbeing.

There are 14 projects receiving funding this year and the hope is they will support the UK’s target to achieve zero new HIV transmissions by 2030.  A target which was announced at the Global AIDS Forum on the 30th January 2019.

The projects include a collaboration between two charities aiming to prevent HIV in women with female genital mutilation and a weekly YouTube drama, The Grass is Always Grindr which has a focus on how Londoners are affected by HIV.

Talking about the fund, Luis Guerra, the National Programme Manager for HIV, Sexual Health, and Reproductive Health at Public Health England said:

The HIV Innovation Fund continues to foster new approaches to HIV prevention, with a range of projects offering new and exciting ways to address key issues in HIV prevention, working particularly with high-risk groups. Projects work alongside the great programmes already running, to prevent HIV transmission and support people living with HIV across England.

We have made fantastic headway lowering rates of HIV, and are excited to see how innovative projects around the country will help us eliminate all new cases by 2030.

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