The HIV Commission is excited to have finished another phase of evidence gathering, with five public hearings now complete. In March, the commission visited Brighton and Hove and Bristol, but unfortunately had to cancel the hearing in East London in response to Covid-19. We will be extending the deadline to submit to Have Your Say until the 26th of April, to ensure as many people as possible can still contribute to the commission digitally.
First and foremost, however, we have some exciting news to share with you.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation
We’re delighted to be able to announce that the Elton John AIDS Foundation is joining National AIDS Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust as sponsoring organisations for the HIV Commission. The Foundation is thrilled to join the HIV Commission to bring a national and global perspective to the recommendations. They look forward to working with all of you and to help ensure that these recommendations are taken on board by the government and community groups.
This decision has come in light of recent developments at the Foundation, which in 2019 merged operations in the UK and USA into one global organisation working to end the AIDS epidemic. Under the leadership of CEO Anne Aslett, the Foundation is now growing and has a consolidated and focused grant-making strategy targeting the most marginalised groups living with or at risk of HIV in the UK, USA and around the world. Following the approval of this new grant-making strategy by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Foundation was thrilled to join the HIV Commission to add its expertise and participation alongside the work that we are all doing together.
This month, the HIV Commission held public evidence hearings in Bristol and Brighton and Hove. We are incredibly grateful to Brighton and Hove City Council, Lunch Positive, Bristol Fast Track Cities, Bristol City Council, Brigstowe and the Terrence Higgins Trust Bristol for hosting us and working hard to put together such fantastic days. A further big thank you to the teams at Tower Hamlets Council and Positive East who spent so much energy working towards the hearing in East London.
In Bristol and Brighton and Hove, Commissioners had the chance to visit local services and hear from people living with HIV, service providers and local decision makers. Thank you to everyone who shared their expertise and experience with us. The information gathered at these sessions will be fundamental to Commissioners thinking as they develop recommendations. Notes from these hearings are available to view on our website.
‘Have Your Say’ Deadline Extended
Public hearings may be over, but the HIV Commission is still gathering evidence that will inform recommendations on how to end new HIV transmissions in England in the next 10 years. You can now submit to the Have Your Say section on our website until the 26th of April. Tell the commission what you think needs to stay the same, what needs to change, and any new ideas you have on how to reach this goal.
Finally, for information on Covid-19 and how it affects people living with HIV, the Terrence Higgins Trust website and National AIDS Trust’s LoopedIn resource are giving regular updates on what the latest guidance means.