- Brigstowe, a Bristol-based charity for people living with HIV, will lead the project with African Voices Forum, in partnership with Unity Sexual Health, Bristol City Council and University of Bristol.
- Aiming to reverse HIV health inequalities experienced by people of African and Caribbean heritage living in and around Bristol.
- A series of interventions will be developed and tested with the local communities.
The prevalence of HIV diagnosis in Bristol is 2.7 per 1,000 people aged between 15 and 59. The rate has been steadily increasing since 2011 and is higher than the average for England (2.4 per 1,000 people).
Bristol’s 2019 HIV Health Needs Assessment found that there is a disproportionate number of people of African and Caribbean heritage with undiagnosed HIV, late HIV diagnosis associated with poor health outcomes, and stigma resulting in lower uptake of HIV/sexual health services.
This project aims to reduce health inequalities in this area by increasing the uptake of HIV testing and broader sexual health services, and reducing late HIV diagnosis and stigma. It will support those who, to date, have had limited voice and power to make decisions about their communities’ specific sexual health needs.
Health care professionals and researchers will co-produce the project with community members, who will be fully involved in decision-making, delivery and evaluation.
Community members will be recruited to a working group with staff from Unity Sexual Health and Brigstowe. With equal partnership, the group will agree potential interventions to reduce HIV stigma and improve HIV testing. There will then be consultations with African and Caribbean communities. The chosen interventions will be tried and assessed through two delivery cycles, with feedback and development throughout.
The intervention package may include health promotion including HIV awareness, inter-faith-based work, GP engagement, and campaigns/social marketing. The reduction of HIV stigma will be embedded in all interventions.
Community members will co-produce the evaluation of the intervention package, in partnership with University of Bristol researchers.
For more information about this project, please contact Rami Ghali.