HIV prevention in London
- London has high rates of HIV compared to the rest of the UK, with over 2,500 new diagnoses last year.
- There are around 41,000 people living with diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV in London.
- HIV disproportionately affects particular groups within London, notably men who have sex with men and people from black African communities.
- In 2014, 37 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV in London were diagnosed late (2,984 out of 8,067 cases in 2012-14).
The London Assembly Health Committee held a meeting on HIV prevention in London with a panel of experts. You can read a full transcript of the meeting that took place here or view a webcast of the meeting.
Following the meeting the Health Committee wrote to the Mayor outlining its findings and recommendations.
- Raising awareness of HIV is key, as lack of awareness increases the risk of transmission and prevents people from finding out their HIV status.
- Local and pan-London prevention efforts are needed, in order to raise awareness of HIV and reduce the stigma around it.
- We should educate and empower people to make informed choices about their own sexual health.
Recommendations to the Mayor
- The Mayor should publicly endorse the London HIV Prevention Programme’s ‘Do it London’ campaign and work with the campaign to target heterosexual people to get tested.
- The Mayor should hold an annual sexual health testing event at City Hall, to ensure the issue remains firmly in the public eye.
- The Mayor should work with organisations, like TfL, Public Health England and HIV charities to use the transport network to encourage more testing.
- The Mayor should consider appointing community HIV and sexual health ambassadors to support greater community engagement.
Download the Health Committee letter on HIV prevention in London below.
You can tweet your support for the report by using the hashtags #AssemblyHealth and #PreventHIV.