The new collaboration covers Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham which have some of the highest levels of HIV infection in the UK. The programme aims to dramatically reduce HIV transmission by bringing investment for new projects to address local health needs. This partnership brings together all local stakeholders involved in the commissioning of the HIV care – Local Authorities, CCGs, NHS England and Public Health England – to work with HIV service providers including Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations.
They will identify ways of getting extra money to increase HIV testing in high risk groups and improving access to HIV treatment in ways that are specifically designed to meet the needs of the local population.
Sir Elton John said: “The UK has one of the best systems to treat people living with HIV in the world. We need to build on this and some excellent local HIV services to increase HIV diagnosis and get the people who need it into care. I’m so proud that we are partnering with local government who have been on the frontlines of this disease for so long in the UK.”
One in ten people living with HIV in London remain undiagnosed and more than a third of new HIV diagnoses are late, causing damage to their health and increasing the risk of onward HIV transmission in the community.
Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council leader, said: “This programme is hugely important for our boroughs because of our high relative rates of HIV infection, and because we have a high concentration of communities who are most at risk from HIV. I’m grateful for Elton John’s contribution and proud to be working with his foundation to tackle this pressing issue.”