Contracts have been awarded to a group of specialist media agencies (Team Enter, Manning Gottlieb, Carat) as part of the new London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP), managed by Lambeth Council.
The deal, worth £1.3m over two years, is part of a total £3.4m three-year programme that includes the voluntary sector and NHS.
LHPP builds on previous London wide HIV prevention work managed by Lambeth Council and funded by London’s local authorities since 2013 when a comprehensive London HIV Needs Assessment highlighted the vital importance of a coordinated, city-wide approach. This was endorsed by the Leaders of London Councils who agreed to fund the LHPP.
In November 2014, Public Health England reported the number of people infected with HIV in the UK reached a record high of 108,000, with more than a quarter of people still unaware they are infected. Last year, more than half of all new HIV diagnoses in the UK were in Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), whilst rates of undiagnosed infection among both MSM and Black African people were especially high in London.
Undiagnosed HIV can result in onwards transmission to other people as well as serious health problems for the individual.
Paul Steinberg, Strategic Lead Commissioner of the LHPP, said: “Our newly appointed partners are widely recognised as longstanding experts in their respective fields. We look forward to working with them to increase HIV testing and reduce the rates of new infections by engaging with local communities most at risk of HIV.”
Mayor Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils, said: “This is a major step forward for the London HIV Prevention Programme, which is being led by the London Borough of Lambeth on behalf of all Londoners. This programme complements existing services commissioned locally by individual boroughs and play an important role in helping to support those communities most at risk. It will also provide us with an effective city-wide platform from which to get across vital messages around safer sex and HIV testing.”