In the media
Mike Freer, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS has secured a debate in Westminster Hall debate to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Group's 2016 report 'The HIV Puzzle'.
The report, driven by evidence presented from charities, civil society groups and pharmaceutical industry, notes significant upheaval to HIV and sexual health services since the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was implemented. Many identified 'fragmentation' of the service, characterised by a split in commissioning responsibilities between NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities. The lack of a 'lead commissioner' or other mechanisms such as an up to date service specification is leading to widely diverging standards in care across the country.
The report highlights a number of key areas where civil society, Government and healthcare professionals can work with older people living with HIV to ensure they are supported physically and emotionally. These include:
• HIV support services aimed at people living with HIV aged 50 and over should carefully consider the diversity of needs of service users and consider tailoring different support packages to 50-60 year olds, 61-64 year olds and to individuals aged 65+
• RCGP should work with BHIVA, BASHH, HIV charities and people living with HIV to provide training and support to current GPs to increase their understanding of HIV and its interaction with ageing
• Social care providers should ensure continued professional development for staff around HIV, using key awareness days such as World AIDS Day and utilising local and national HIV organisations to ensure all activities are based on up-to-date evidence.
If you would like to contribute a brief for members contributing to the debate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary of State for International Development response to the International Development Committee's inquiry into DFID's work on HIV/AIDS
As part of its inquiry into DFID's work into HIV/AIDS, the International Development Committee wrote to the Secretary of State with questions based on the evidence it received during its oral evidence sessions in January 2017. Attached is the response from the Secretary of State, Priti Patel.
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Peers use debate on the UK’s upcoming role as chair of the Commonwealth to highlight the impact of inequality on meeting the United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS
On 16 March 2017, during a debate on the UK’s future relationship with the Commonwealth, peers from across all parts of the chamber, highlighted the negative impact that criminalisation and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation can have on meeting the UN’s commitment to ending AIDS by 2030.
40 of the 77 states that criminalise same-sex relationships are in the Commonwealth, and these laws have an immediate impact on the ability of groups most disproportionately affected by HIV on the ability to seek advice, use prevention and access treatment and services.
Baroness Barker, Vice-chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS noted the Academy of Science of South Africa findings that laws justified on the grounds that they improve public health have an ‘immediate and destructive impact’ not only on individual and public health but also crime, economic empowerment and the rule of law. This point was similarly reinforced by Lord Cashman and Lord Collins their contributions to the debate.
Beyond the immediate health impacts of same-sex relationship criminalisation, Lord McConnell and Lord Crisp both noted the detrimental economic effects that HIV and AIDS have had on some of the poorest countries in the world to encourage UK leadership in international development.
The full debate can be found here (https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2017-03-16/debates/E9678A92-E2C0-4FE...).
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Yesterday, the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS welcomed over 60 young campaigners from Dublin to Dundee, Brighton to Birmingham to Portcullis House as they urged the UK Government to keep their eye on the ball with the global HIV epidemic.
The 'It Aint’ Over campaign', led by Youth Stop AIDS and supported by Restless Development and Stop AIDS, have been on a month-long tour of the UK raising awareness of the renewed threats of the global HIV & AIDS epidemic. AIDS is now the second biggest killer of adolescents in the world - in 2000, it wasn’t even in the top ten.
The APPG event was attended by DFID Minister James Wharton, who accepted nine giant postcards from the campaigners - each containing messages of support for the It Ain’t Over campaign from every city visited by the UK-wide Speaker Tour.
The young campaigners are calling for a stocktake review of all of DFID’s work on HIV and urged the Government to “keep their eye on the ball” with a stunt outside Parliament. More detail of their campaign demands can be found on their website (http://youthstopaids.org/itaintover/)
Mike Freer MP, Chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS, speaking after the event noted; ‘AIDS-related deaths are now the second highest killer of young people globally. This makes campaigns such as It Ain’t Over crucial both in terms of maintaining the focus of the Government on its work combatting HIV and AIDS and ensuring that young people are at the heart of developing sustainable solutions to help meet the UN’s target of eradicating AIDS by 2030.’
James Cole, Youth Stop AIDS National Coordinator, said; ‘We can beat AIDS, but It Ain’t Over. AIDS is now the second largest killer of young people in the world - in 2000 it wasn’t even in the top ten. After hearing about the experiences of young people living with HIV directly on our Speaker Tour, it’s great to see that so many young people from across the country have been inspired to take action today.’
Cat Currie, Campaign Manager at Restless Development, said; ‘Last year, as part of the Global Goals process, our world leaders made a commitment to end AIDS altogether by 2030. We’re using the power of young people’s voice to make sure those promises become a reality.’
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APPG on HIV & AIDS welcomes Government announcement to introduce statutory SRE in all schools in England and Wales
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS welcomes the Government’s amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill making relationships and sex education (RSE) a statutory requirement in all secondary schools. The APPG, working with its partners in civil society, supports the view that RSE is crucial in ensuring that young people are empowered with the knowledge and life skills they will need to develop healthy and supportive relationships and prevent the onward transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Speaking after the announcement, Mike Freer, Chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS noted ‘statutory RSE in schools is long overdue and we are pleased that the Government has committed to doing more to support young people, growing up with 21st century challenges to safe and healthy relationships. The APPG looks forward to working alongside the Government to improve the quality and delivery of SRE and PSHE and ensure that guidance for schools is LGBT-inclusive and includes a significant focus on good sexual health.’
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National AIDS Trust (NAT)Tuesday 21th March 201714.00-16.00
Committee Room, House of Commons
A report launch and opportunity to explore:
• Why HIV support services matter;
• What current access to support people living with HIV have in the UK – with new and exclusive data presented by NAT; and
• What needs to be done to ensure that services necessary to good health outcomes are not lost.
Support services for people living with HIV are vital to HIV care. These specialist services, which cover a wide range of needs, are an essential, safe and understanding source of support – support which ultimately leads to better health outcomes. But, without a clear commissioning home for them since the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, austerity has led to significant cuts and sometimes total de-commissioning of these services.
‘The sad fact is that people [living with HIV] are being denied the right to vital services which could lead to a significant public health failure in the not so distant future.’ The HIV Puzzle, published by the APPG on HIV & AIDS December 2016.
Report launch: As part of this event NAT will launch two new reports on the evidence and policy base for providing support services and exclusive data on what HIV support services are actually being commissioned across the UK - based on over 250 Freedom of Information requests, this will be the first opportunity to see how access varies across the UK and to explore the implications of this.
Spaces are limited. To secure your place, please register for this event here (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/putting-hiv-support-services-back-on-the-...)
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS seeks further Government engagement on HIV awareness as part of PSHE in schools
Today, Mike Freer MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS, spoke in the chamber about the need for greater awareness of HIV in the teaching of health and sex education to pupils. Mike noted the success of previous public health campaigns on HIV, notably the Don’t Die of Ignorance campaign of the 1980s, but highlighted that with 44% of new infections occurring in those aged between 18-34, many are unlikely to have seen the adverts and mass media campaigns of previous generations. He warned that this in turn, could give rise to the idea that if diagnosed with HIV, access to antiretrovirals will mean that ‘nothing will happen to them, or that if it does they do not have to worry, because there is a pill or because by the time it becomes a problem there will be a cure’. This attitude, he noted, risks a rise not only in new HIV infections but other STIs as well.
Mike also noted new ways that young people learn about sex and find sexual partners. He called upon schools to include peer education as a means of removing barriers to useful sex education and ensuring that safe sex messages are adopted by young people. In particular, Mike highlighted the work of Robbie Lawlor and Terrence Higgins Trust’s Positive Voices campaign in the UK, as well as the work of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Sex Squad in the US.
Also participating in the debate was Stephen Doughty MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG, who praised the work of Youth StopAIDS in raising HIV awareness not only in the UK but globally as well, setting an example for young people at home and abroad.
The Minister’s response recognised that HIV is a serious public health concern and that it is ‘crucial that we ingrain the safe sex message, particularly in young people’. The Minister also recognised the work of Public Health England and the Terrence Higgins Trust in ensuring that young people have access to information and testing related to sexual health and HIV. She also agreed to meet with the organisations mentioned by the Chair to hear more about the work they are doing.
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Tell us what you think!
What HIV policies would you prioritise in 2017?
Please take 5-10 minutes to fill in our short survey and inform the APPG's advocacy priorities for the coming year. APPG members will be meeting in February to finalise plans for the APPG's work programme for 2017 and would like your input. Please respond no later than 5pm on Friday 3rd February otherwise your feedback may not be taken into consideration.
The survey can be accessed by following this link (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DJVQRJY)
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Tom Addison begins covering Susie Pelly's position as Policy Advisor to the APPG on HIV & AIDS as Susie begins her maternity leave.
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APPG HIV/AIDS and Terrence Higgins Trust Panel EventMonday 23rd January 201718:00 – 19:30
Committee Room 6, House of Commons
Please join the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS and Terrence Higgins Trust to launch a new report that explores what it means to grow older with HIV in the UK.
The report is based on research carried out by the Terrence Higgins Trust in partnership with peer researchers – older people themselves living with HIV. The report seeks to set out the needs and experiences of this first generation of people ageing with HIV, and the actions needed to ensure that their needs and concerns are fully addressed.
The event will be chaired by Mike Freer MP.
Please RSVP to Debbie Laycock on Debbie.Laycock@tht.org.ukEvent Taxonomy: ReportEvent2017
APPG: ‘People living with HIV are being denied the right to vital services which could lead to a significant public health failure in the not so distant future’
According to a report launched today by a group of cross-party Parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS, vital services for people living with HIV in the UK are under threat because of changes made under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The report ‘HIV Puzzle: piecing together HIV care since the Health and Social Care Act’ highlights that changes under the Health and Social Care Act have lead to a fragmentation of HIV services and care leading to:
- Major reductions by local authorities to HIV support services threatening to end this vital aspect of HIV care for good.
- NHS England failure to take responsibility for providing pioneering preventative treatment for HIV.
- Inefficiencies and uncertainty for HIV and sexual health services across the country.
The report recommends four vital changes that the Government should make to ensure this situation is addressed:
1. Clarify commissioning responsibility for HIV support services and ensure they are not summarily cut across the country.
2. Encourage Public Health England to urgently develop a whole-service specification for HIV and sexual health, bringing together the various strands of clinical guidance which already exist, to ensure there is clear, consistent advice available to local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England.
3. NHS England needs to urgently acknowledge its responsibility for commissioning PrEP and assess it accordingly.
4. Ensure HIV prevention and testing are not neglected in the wake of decreased local authority budgets and devolved responsibility. Tackling late diagnosis is key to improving HIV outcomes.
Chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS Mike Freer MP said.
“The Government needs to recognise when elements of legislation aren’t working and that is clearly the case with HIV.
What this report shows, is that devolution of sexual health and HIV services to local authorities has created a great deal of complexity for people living with HIV which must be addressed.
It is simply unfair and unwise to allow services for people living with HIV to suffer because of the shortcomings in the Health and Social Care Act.
The logic behind devolution of public health to local authorities was sound, but the Government must act where we see there are adverse consequences. HIV support services must continue to be funded, PrEP should not have been caught up in a legal battle and HIV testing, prevention and treatment must continue to be provided in the most efficient and effective way.”
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The report will be launched in Parliament on Monday 5th December 12pm-2pm
For more information contact: Susie Pelly
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On 2nd November Mike Freer MP chaired the launch of the HIV Prevention Innovation Fund. The fund is providing £600,000 to thirteen new innovative local HIV Prevention projects across England.
Speakers included, Public Health and Innovations Minister, Nicola Blackwood MP and the National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, Professor Kevin Fenton.
On 29th June, young advocates living with HIV came to Parliament to meet with APPG members and discuss their views, concerns and experiences of how HIV impacts on their lives – whether that be in school, university or in the health system. Members of the APPG found the meeting extremely useful.
As replenishment of the Global Fund draws nearer the APPG has been working hard to increase awareness amongst Parliamentarians of the important work the Global Fund does. On 12th July the HIV/AIDS APPG joined with APPGs on TB and Malaria to host a reception with special guest speaker Annie Lennox. The event was a great opportunity to get the important message across that the UK needs to increase its contribution to the Global Fund.
On Wednesday 13th July the APPG held its annual AGM to re-elect officers. To make the most of the opportunity we also decided to hold a roundtable discussion on the recent High Level Meeting in New York with the outgoing Minister Baroness Verma, STOPAIDS, AIDS Alliance, Harm Reduction International and members of the APPG.
River Room, House of Lords
The Halve It World AIDS Day event and launch of the APPG on HIV & AIDS inquiry report ‘The HIV Puzzle: Piecing together HIV care since the Health and Social Care Act’
Between 12.00 and 2.00 pm on Monday, 5 December 2016, River Room, House of Lords By kind permission of the Lord Speaker. Strictly invitation only.Event Taxonomy: Events2016WAD
New Zealand House
80, 80 Haymarket,
STOPAIDS World AIDS Day Conference
2-5pm followed by drinks and canapes 5-7pm at the
Impact Hub (1st Floor New Zealand House 80, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE)
James Wharton MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS,
Divya Bajpal, Director of programmes, International HIV AIDS Alliance,
Anne Aslett, Executive Director, Elton John AIDS Foundation,
Judy Chang, Board member of International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD),
Lelio Mamora, Executive Director of UNITAID,
Sanelisiwe Nkomo, a young South African mother living with HIV who is a peer to peer Mentor for Mother to Mothers.
Mark Goldring, Executive Director of Oxfam UK,
Claire Moran, Head of Human Development, DFID,
Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria,
Kate Osamor MP, (Shadow Secretary of State for International development),
Mike Freer MP, (Chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS)
This event is co-hosted by Mortimer Market who will provide HIV tests and medical expertiseWednesday 30th November 9:30am-12pm
Jubilee Room for Parliamentarians only.
9:30am-12pm Parliamentary Drop-In ‘HIV Testing Event and Photo Opportunity’ in the Jubilee Room for Parliamentarians only.
(This event is co-hosted by Mortimer Market who will provide HIV tests and medical expertise)
Also see our afternoon event;
STOPAIDS World AIDS Day Conference 2-5pm followed by drinks and canapes 5-7pm at the Impact Hub (1st Floor New Zealand House 80, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE)Event Taxonomy: Event2016STOPAIDS
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS and MP for Finchley & Golders Green, Mike Freer, has said he is pleased that the Court of Appeal has ruled NHS England have the legal power to Commission PrEP.
Following the Court’s decision in May 2016, which ruled NHS England had the powers to fund PrEP, health bosses manoeuvred to block the decision through the Court of Appeal.
Aside from their decision to appeal, NHS England also provoked an emotional response from members of the public and LGBT+ community when they published a press release on the court decision.
The press statement implied funding for drugs that could save the lives of young children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis may no longer be affordable if funds were syphoned off to pay for PrEP.
Commenting on outcome of the appeal case, Mike Freer said: “I am obviously pleased with the outcome of this case. It is a breakthrough and the affect this will have on the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS will be ground-breaking. It will also serve as a preventative measure and properly address rising HIV rates in the UK.”
He continued, “But it should never have got to this point. NHS England should have accepted the decision, and their responsibility, when the High Court ruled against them in May. Even after losing the case NHS England are seeking ways of wriggling out of their responsibility. They should accept they have lost their case and fund this crucial measure, as they fund other important preventive measures.”
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£28,536 - £31,274 depending on experience
As Policy Adviser to The All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS you will be responsible for the day-to-day running one of the most active and effective All Party Groups in Parliament. You will have the chance to shape the activities of the group and influence government HIV policy.
You will build the Group’s strong foundation of members, making contact with new MPs and peers across all parties. You will identify and push forward policy priorities through parliamentary campaigns. You will maintain excellent relationships with NGOs, private sector organisations, HIV activists and clinicians, ensuring that the APPG stays relevant and addresses the core concerns of people living with HIV. The role can involve international travel.Person specification:
An excellent understanding of how Parliament works, gained in a professional capacity (eg working for an MP or as a parliamentary officer for a charity/company).
A willingness to work with MPs of all political parties.
Strong academic record
A demonstrable interest in international development and/or sexual health
Excellent written skills – this could be demonstrated by, for example, reports/briefings/newsletters/press releases
Excellent organisational skills, including experience of organising events in Parliament.
Experience of managing a budget
A self-starter - the ability to initiate projects, follow through and work with minimal supervision is essential.
Experience of working for an MP
An understanding of HIV in the UK and experience of policy work relating to the NHS or an understanding of HIV and its impact in the developing world
Familiarity with major international institutions relevant to HIV
Media skills – demonstrable success of working with the media.
Experience of working on Bills
Experience of using new media – eg. twitter.
Main duties of the Policy Adviser
Gathering parliamentary support:
You willinitiate and holdmeetings with MPs of all political parties and develop their support. You will prepare written and verbal briefings for MPs. You will work to ensure the officers of the group are always aware of the key issues for the HIV sector.
You will use parliamentary mechanisms (written and oral PQs, EDMS, debates etc) to raise the profile of HIV in parliament and to push for specific policy outcomes. You will organise meetings for MPs with Ministers and draft letters to Ministers.
You willanalyse political and policy developments and, with the officers, agree policy positions for the Group. You will keep in touch with Whitehallofficials and feed into consultations and other policy development activities.
Cooperation with sector:
You will ensure contact with HIV support groups, so that the voice of people living with HIV feeds into our policy positions. You willmaintain contact with key partner organisations in the UKand international HIV sectors. You will attend outside meetings as required.
With the support of the officers, you will be responsible for raising the running costs of the group. You will be responsible for raising your own salary.
You will maintain the APPG website and twitter account
Publicity and Communications:
You will be responsible for designing and writing all written APPG communications – including when necessary, newsletters.
You will be responsible for all the administrative functions of the group. This includes issuing invitations, organising meetings, booking rooms, organising mail-outs and complying with parliamentary regulations.
You will be responsible for managing the APPG budget and following agreed accounting procedure and record-keeping.
Any other APPG-related duties as may be required by the officers.
To apply send your CV and a brief covering letter to email@example.com, ensuring that you address each essential skill/experience requirement listed above.
For more information about the group see www.appghivaids.org.uk/about.html.
Deadline for applications:
9am 1st November 2016.
Candidates must be available for interview during the week beginning 5th December.
Job Start date: