Experts in HIV will attend a special Brighton Festival event hosted by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), in association with the Martin Fisher Foundation, to discuss the city’s United Nations ‘Fast Track City’ status.
Brighton is set to become the first city in the UK to be awarded this status joining 65 cities worldwide with high levels of HIV working to end the epidemic of HIV/AIDS by 2030.
Speakers at HIV: Is Victory in Sight? taking place at Sallis Benney Theatre on Sunday, May 7 at 3pm, will discuss whether this is possible, how HIV can be reduced globally, and the successes and challenges with HIV.
The conversation will be chaired by Baroness Gould of Potternewton, and panelists include Nicky Perry, Clinical Trials Unit BSMS; Dr Duncan Churchill, a Consultant in HIV/GUM; Sue Riley, a person living with HIV and Terrence Higgins Trust South Positive Voices Project Coordinator; Cllr Daniel Yates, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Board; and Dr Adrian Brown, Chair of the Martin Fisher Foundation.
An audience Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.
Brighton & Hove has the highest prevalence of HIV outside of London, at 1% of the population. As 91% of people living with HIV in Brighton & Hove are men, prevalence among the male population is even greater, at 1.9%.
Professor Malcolm Reed, Dean of BSMS, says: “The prevalence of HIV in the Brighton & Hove area makes the United Nations Fast Track City status vitally important in our mission to combat the infection. HIV: is victory in sight? brings together experts and people living with HIV to discuss our work to end the epidemic of HIV/AIDS over the coming decade.”
UN Fast Track Cities are working to achieve the following targets by 2020:
♦ at least 90% of people with HIV diagnosed
♦ 90% of those diagnosed on antiretroviral therapy and
♦ 90% of those undergoing treatment having the virus repressed.
Dr Adrian Brown, Chair of the Martin Fisher Foundation, says: “Achieving United Nations Fast Track City status has re-energised the community in Brighton and Hove in the fight to combat HIV/AIDS. There has never been a better time to work together Towards Zero HIV thanks to recent research and treatment.
Brighton & Hove has already exceeded two of the UN Fast Track targets, with 93% of people diagnosed with HIV taking antiretrovirals and 96% of those on treatment having an undetectable viral load within six months.
Partners across Brighton and Hove have come together to produce the Towards Zero HIV Strategy, which is even more ambitious. We believe the city is in a very realistic position to reach zero new HIV infection, zero deaths and zero stigma by 2025.”
The Brighton & Hove HIV service currently cares for 2,400 people, of whom 82% are men who have sex with men, 9% heterosexual males and 9% heterosexual females.
It’s estimated there are a further 500 people (or 17%) living with HIV who have not yet been diagnosed. Although there is currently a lack of data on transgender women, anecdotal data suggests that up to 19% of those who have been tested have been identified as HIV positive.
Event: HIV: Is Victory in Sight?
Where: Sallis Benney Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY
When: Sunday, May 7
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