Dear Friends and Allies,
This is the October update from Fast Track Cardiff & Vale, the HIV coalition for change.
So much has happened in the last three months that we will stick to the highlights, but first we’d like to thank all of you who have collaborated with us, boosted our social media announcements or in any way helped us out.
Wales HIV Testing Week will be upon us soon and we will shortly be circulating this year’s graphics which you can co-badge and use locally. The week runs from 22-28 November and you can use it in any way you see fit to promote HIV testing locally or nationally. If you’re short of ideas, we’re always happy to help. We can also offer talks on HIV testing or anything else about the realities of 21st century HIV – just email us for a chat about what you might like at email@example.com . And there’s also exciting things happening with S4C so watch our social media for updates we can’t quite reveal yet…
FTC&V has, via our host Pride Cymru, begun attending the Wales Sexual Health Programme Board and we’d like to thank the Welsh Government for the invitation. The group will be meeting every couple of months and has formed short term working parties to create a Wales HIV Action Plan and a national PrEP campaign. We’re very glad to be on both of these. We’ve also been involved in the creation of a draft LGBTQ+ Action Plan which is currently out to consultation and confirms the HIV Action Plan. Please have your say about this at https://gov.wales/lgbtq-action-plan by October 22nd. On a recent visit from Fast Track Cities’ European VP, Bertrand Audoin, he told us that our shared Senedd election manifesto with Terrence Higgins Trust is now being used as a model in other European countries.
We continue to be consulted by the excellent All Party Group on HIV in the Westminster Parliament and have given evidence to them recently about targeted HIV services (or the general absence of them in Wales) for BAME people. They have published their report on testing services and access across the UK to which we contributed and which has Wales-specific recommendations. All their reports are available at https://www.appghivaids.org.uk/projects
Our GP testing pilot in Cardiff City & South cluster has now concluded, very successfully. We are still analysing the data but in all, 97 people at heightened risk of HIV accessed rapid tests provided by Terrence Higgins Trust, of whom a staggering 82% had either never previously tested, or not recently. Many others accessed postal tests from Frisky Wales. At least one person was diagnosed as a result of this, which made the pilot quantifiably cost effective on top of the awareness it raised in both the surgeries and patients, for very little effort on the part of the GPs.
There will be an oral presentation of data from this pilot at the forthcoming British Association for Sexual Health & HIV conference, alongside three other papers on PrEP from Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff University and partners – congratulations all round! We’d like to express our gratitude to everyone who participated in this, particularly those who championed the early stages of the process. We will be discussing expanding the scheme further with Cardiff & Vale UHB and the Welsh Government.
Research continues to be important to us, with current Cardiff University Masters projects on HIV stigma in primary care and on self-stigma in progress.
It’s freshers time for students in Wales, and we have updated our Student Guide to Sexual Health in Cardiff, including downloadable posters and lots of useful links – help yourselves at https://fasttrackcardiff.wales/student-guide-sexual-health-cardiff/
We also worked with Welsh National Opera to create a day of learning about HIV for a Cardiff secondary school. A fantastic day of learning, and if you would like a speaker for a student group (or anything else) – don’t hesitate to contact us through our website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally – we are working on a Positive Role Models photographic exhibition of people in or from Wales who are living with HIV, to illustrate that it’s something people can live with and get on with their lives. We have some brilliant people, but are still seeking another woman living with HIV to participate – if that’s you, or you know someone suitable, we’d welcome hearing from you/them.
We currently also have two funding applications in progress to continue and extend our existing work so, fingers crossed.
If you would like to talk more about any of the above, please email us at the link in the text. If you want to be taken off this mailing list, please do the same with “unsubscribe” in the header.
Forward to Wales Testing Week! And thank you for reading,
The Fast Track Cardiff & Vale team
Fast Track Cardiff & Vale acknowledges funding for our current work from Viiv Healthcare. Previous funding to establish us was provided by Gilead Sciences.
Dear Friends and Allies,