A new partnership for HIV prevention in England is launched today. The TRUST Partnership is a collaboration between established players in the HIV sector and beyond to develop a new and inclusive vision for targeted HIV prevention in England.
TRUST is led by METRO, African Health Policy Network (AHPN), PACE, Birmingham LGBT, Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health and Leicestershire AIDS Support Service (LASS). These specialist organisations are joined by a range of clinical, commercial, academic and policy experts including the School of Medicine and Health and the Centre for Gender, Sex and Sexualities at Durham University, and Lateral Group.
With rates of HIV infection remaining high, the key aims of the Partnership are to reduce late and undiagnosed HIV and to prevent new infections. In working towards those aims, the partnership is also looking at the general health and well being of those communities most affected by HIV – men who have sex with men (MSM) and African people.
The Partnership is founded on a model of transparency and inclusion that welcomes all organisations engaged in HIV Prevention work. TRUST’s vision is for an ‘open door’ approach based on community engagement to allow for focused, inclusive and collaborative HIV prevention work. This vision was developed through extensive consultation with the groups most affected by HIV. Seven principles have been developed that all TRUST partners subscribe to. TRUST will continue to engage with HIV prevention providers and wider stakeholders to develop new collaborations.
TRUST has submitted a response to the Department of Health’s tendering for a National Programme of Targeted HIV Prevention for a new programme, which will combine the current CHAPS and NAHIP programmes for MSM and African populations. TRUST is proposing a significant improvement to current service delivery and a significant number of existing CHAPS and NAHIP partners have signed up to the TRUST vision for change.
Dr Greg Ussher, Metro Deputy CEO said:
We know that HIV infection levels are high and that current prevention approaches are not as effective as they could be. In the TRUST Partnership we believe that collaboration to harness the wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise of affected communities and the sector is the only way forward. United with people whose lives are affected by HIV, we can really make a difference. Our vision and model of working together and welcoming all is the best defence in the fight against HIV and the best use of limited public sector resources.
Francis Kaikumba, AHPN CEO said:
TRUST aims to build on the successful work of engaging with community groups, faith leaders and organisations to ensure that local activity is scaled up to improve quality and innovation in HIV prevention in England. TRUST partners look forward to working together in the future on other bids and to the TRUST approach becoming the standard of cooperative and innovative , multi-sector approaches to HIV prevention in the UK and beyond .It is through such a multidisciplinary and sector wide approach that we can truly address the complex issue of HIV prevention in England and deliver a really world class programme.
Denis Onyango, Acting CEO of Africa Advocacy Foundation (AAF) and Trustee of the African Health Forum said:
Africa Advocacy Foundation and the African Health Forum welcome the opportunity to join with the TRUST Partnership and to contribute to the development of its vision. Collaborative working has been the cornerstone of successful HIV prevention with African communities for the past decade and we are committed to seeking new and innovative ways to share learning and continuously improve services. Any national programme must be directly engaged with the people and communities it seeks to support. The TRUST Partnership represents a strong, coherent model for both national and regional HIV prevention in the future that is grounded in the reality of people’s lives.