The APPG on HIV and AIDS and APPG on Mental Health Call for Written Evidence on HIV and Mental Health

The APPG on HIV and AIDS and APPG on Mental Health are putting out a call for written evidence as part of an inquiry into HIV and Mental Health in England.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health and Public Health England’s most recent (2018) report on the HIV epidemic in the UK, people living with HIV are twice as likely to have anxiety and depression compared to those who are not living with HIV. Some forms of stress can contribute to mental health challenges for people living with HIV, including:

  • Having trouble getting the services you need

  • Experiencing a loss of social support, resulting in isolation

  • Experiencing a loss of employment or worries about whether you will be able to perform your work as you did before

  • Making decisions about whether and how to tell others about your status

  • Managing your HIV medicines

  • Going through changes in your physical appearance or abilities due to HIV/AIDS

  • Dealing with loss, including the loss of relationships or even death

  • Facing the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS

Submissions to the inquiry should be sent to Susie Pelly by email at pellys@parliament.uk by 5pm on 5th April 2019. If you have any questions about the terms of reference please contact the Policy Advisor to the APPG on HIV and AIDS Susie Pelly at the same email address as above. Submissions are welcome from all people and organisations with an interest in HIV and mental health. Please clearly outline the organisation if applicable you work for and your contact details.

To read the full terms of reference for the inquiry including questions to guide your submission please click on link below.

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Minister Burt responds to the APPG on HIV and AIDS report "No One Left Behind"

In November Minister Burt sent a written response to the APPG on HIV and AIDS in response to our report “No One Left Behind: towards a sustainable HIV response for key populations and women and girls”, outlining DFID’s plans to address some of the concerns raised by the report.

We are pleased that DFID is establishing “working principles on how we transition our work in-country”. We will be working with DFID to ensure these working principles adequately address the needs of People Living with HIV.

The Minister’s response also highlights that in many countries, political will is the biggest barrier to access to services for People Living with HIV, rather than external financing. The APPG will continue to work with DFID and the FCO to ensure these political barriers are tackled effectively.

We are delighted that the Government has increased their contribution to the Robert Carr Network Civil Society Networks Fund - one of the key asks in our report and welcome the MInister’s response to our inquiry. To read the letter in full please click on the link.

HIV community gathers in Parliament to tackle late diagnosis of HIV

On 10th October the APPG HIV/AIDS co-hosted the Halve it report launch “A Roadmap for eliminating late diagnosis of HIV in England” as a farewell to the Halve it Campaign and call to action to ensure the hard earned gains made over the past eight years are not lost.

Stephen Doughty MP chaired the event highlighting some of the important gains of the Halve It campaign since its inception in 2010. Halve It has overseen a massive reduction in undiagnosed HIV. The challenge now is to tackle late diagnosis. Dr Laura Waters - an HIV specialist from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital talked through the findings of the report which you can read about in this briefing.

Sara then followed with her personal experience of receiving a late HIV diagnosis in her 50s. Sara’s story was particularly powerful given it was the first time she had spoken about her diagnosis in public. She described the huge health implications of her late diagnosis and the difficulties in disclosing to friends. One of the main positives which she has drawn from her experience is that her GP is now more aware of the signs of HIV within her age group and is testing more frequently. As Sara said - “I just didn’t fit the demographic”.

Sara’s moving speech was followed by a call for Action from Deborah Gold, the Executive Director at the National AIDS Trust. The event was a great opportunity for celebrating Halve It’s successes and an important reminder that there is still more work to be done.

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The APPG in Amsterdam and other news….

Stephen Doughty MP speaking on a panel at the International AIDS Conference about the APPG’s latest report  No One Left Behind

Stephen Doughty MP speaking on a panel at the International AIDS Conference about the APPG’s latest report No One Left Behind

In the past few months the APPG has been busy launching our latest report “No One Left Behind”, promoting our report at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam and meeting with various organisations in Parliament. To find out more read on…

Report launch

Amidst World Cup mania In July we launched our latest report “No One Left Behind: towards a sustainable HIV response for key populations and women and girls” in Parliament. The launch, which was hosted alongside STOPAIDS and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance was a celebration of over a year’s work with speakers from DFID, Chair of the Key Populations Consortium in Kenya, Grace Kamau and Maria Phelan from the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund. You can find a copy of our report on our website.

Amsterdam

A week later, Chair of the APPG Stephen Doughty MP and Vice Chair, Baroness Barker attended the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam and spoke at numerous events highlighting the latest findings from our report. We were delighted to hear the UK Government’s announcement that it would increase funding to the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund by 20% - one of the key policy asks in our report. 

other meetings

The APPG was also delighted to host CHIVA’s young advocates on 10th July in Parliament. The meeting was a chance for young people to speak face to face with Parliamentarians about their experience of living with HIV in the UK. We are working with CHIVA to follow up on some of the key policy concerns that were raised in this meeting.

coming up

We have a number of events coming up in the next few months. We are hosting a lunch time briefing for Parliamentarians on the future of public health spending with Terrence Higgins Trust and the APPG on Sexual and Reproductive Health. We are also working towards our World AIDS Day parliamentary reception with STOPAIDS and International HIV/AIDS Alliance. More details soon to follow. 

 We are delighted to co-host the Halve report launch on 10th October to celebrate the culmination of Halve It’s work and their latest findings in: “A road map for eliminating late diagnosis of HIV in England.”