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HIV charities ‘very concerned’ by threat to local funding

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  1. As per this story on the UKCAB network the APPG HIV/AIDS noted this problem on the 5th May 2010.

    Whereas the long term prognosis for those with HIV is much improved with better therapies. Within the HIV community there are a minority who for health and legacy issues (they suffered AIDS) they have complex mental and physical health needs that require the support of external agencies for support and to assist with life issues. Many are unable to work.

    Those with HIV are furthest from the Work place due to the stigma of the illness before one deals with other discriminating factors. Again many external agencies assist with confidence building and bringing up work and CV skills.

    Some who live below the poverty line rely on some agencies to be able to have a healthy meal or even at least be able to eat once a day.

    Ceasing the ring fencing of the AIDS Support & Capital grants will have a devastating impact on the provision of services and existence of many VITAL services.

    This will also make those with HIV more isolated and thus vulnerable.

    Of concern is will this money be used to reduce local council taxes rather than support a highly vulnerable minority of people.

  2. silly billy 14 Jun 2010, 8:01pm

    I would imagine that is exactly what will happen. Many of the grants that have been effected in the same manner, for those working most closely with the service users, will be cut; and in particular those where it is viewed that the backlash will be weak as people are so vulnerable.

  3. That’s disgusting. Health and care services should always be protected. This Pickles guy is a scumbag. And I agree with silly billy’s backlash claim: so long as their popularity isn’t affected, people like him don’t give a crap what happens to anyone else. Typical cold-blooded populism.

    We’ve heard stories of nurses refusing to do home visits when they realise someone is HIV-positive.

    It’s a shame that this country’s so hard up for nurses that people like these aren’t fired on the spot.

  4. They wont need any funding for ‘benefits advice’ next year.
    The only advice people will need to know is that they are going to be pushed onto job seekers when over two million incapacity claimants migrate to the new ESA and the harsh work capability assessment next year. And John, (comment 1) its not only people with AIDS who are still ill.
    There are many people on antiretroviral medication with good CD4 counts and undetectable viral loads who suffer many side effects from medication and maybe from years sometimes decades of infection by the virus itself. Successfully treated or not.
    It’s an issue that is increasingly overlooked and is reported so recently on NAM.
    Depression, anxiety, heart disease, chronic fatigue, to name just a few.

  5. Before the likes of THT start handing out the begging bowl, isn’t it time for greater transparency over how much money in the pound they receive from the government and in donations from fundraisers actually GOES to those in need and is not squandered on vanity projects, outrageous executive wages, unnecessarily extravagant premises in the centre of London, gold-plated pensions, etc.? Yes, times are tight and organizations will feel the squeeze as an inevitable consequence of the last government’s profligacy. But for THT to scaremonger and threaten that HIV services will be cut when they have raised millions upon millions over the years, much of which has been squandered frivolously, is despicable. HIV prevention in this country is an almighty disaster thanks to THT, GMFA et al; perhaps if they had got THAT right from the start then there would be no need to provide services to thousands of gay men weaned on HIV adverts that have normalized the virus and made it cool. It is time for for something new, and hopefully Dave and Nick will realize that gay men do need decent HIV education. Because at £18k per annum to treat one new convert, that is clearly unsustainable in today’s world.

  6. What is going on here and who to believe? In Pink News’s coverage of THT gobbling up Crusade to become the dominant – and arguably dangerously powerful – HIV client services provider (PN 14/06/10) it quoted a THT spokesman as saying the “charity” was not short of cash. In such circumstanced it iis shameful for THT to scare those of us dependent on it’s services due to possible funding cuts while boasting how comfortable it is as a business, which is surely what THT has become. HIVer beware: THT had a history of shortchanging those in greatest need while lining it’s own pockets and making it’s executive committee very rich indeed.THT has survived many finance-related scandals over 28 years, and I reckon this scare story is an attempt to garner sympathy before the Tories take a closer look at their atrocious track record and consigns THT to oblivion. HIVers and gay men in general deserve so much better.

  7. J Cartier – I did say “health and legacy issues” which I did mean to of course cover your comments. You are absolutely right and I apologise if the meaning was lost. Mental health in particular is an issue I raise all the time as it relates to HIV and some therapies such as Sustiva.

    Patchy – I agree in much greater “Openess & transparency”. However please see that beyond THT there are many smaller organisations that are a “life line” for many who will suffer disproportionately merely given there size. This is one issue that needs to focus on the fundamental substance in my view and not just THT/NAT etc… My organisation is largely self funded other funding is from people like ourselves we receive no formal funding.

    Kevin – I am not often one to run to the defence of THT but thinking about Crusaid of late my fear is that this was really the only option to save the “hardship” fund. There are other HIV charities that could have stepped in but alas they chose not to.

    Please remember that we all suffer from any loss of funding and big or small the HIV sector throughout the UK will suffer.

    It pleases me that you have left comments on this issue thank you for taking the time.


  8. BobbetStillTheSame 16 Jun 2010, 3:18am

    Tories milking the ill and poor to support the well and rich.

  9. Lets be clear the Tories & the Liberal Democrats though the removal of ring-fencing was a Labour policy I believe – correct me if I am wrong.

  10. No one is suggesting this money is going to disappear, so I really don’t see the problem. I can understand why THT might be worried, as they have benefitted directly from local authorities unsure where to spend that money that can only be spent on HIV services.

    It is scaremongering – just because money is not ringfenced, it doesn;t mean that services for those with HIV will just disappear.

  11. Matt, I wish I could share your position. When I wasn’t as closely involved with HIV as I am now with I would have probably agreed with you. However I need to be object here and correct a few points.

    1) THT will be worried but look at there balance sheet and they should be able to “weather the storm” of less funding over the years. The REAL issue is smaller organisations that are local such as The River House Trust where I live. For them this is a real issue and threat to there funding.

    2) We did some work on the Aids Support Grant. .

    You will see some London Boroughs for example spend just the funding they get others spent much more per person than just the grant on services for HIV. The issue may see those spending twice or triple the funding cutting right back and this will have a huge impact.

    Money saved on “efficient” use of ASG monies will go to save money elsewhere and lets be realistic, no local council is going to raise its local tax rates if it can help it. My local authority is pledged to reductions of 3% per year.

    The ‘devil is in the detail’. The detail in this case are the unsung and less well known support charities. I urge you to look again.

    One last thought. There is a great deal of apathy in our HIV community. Many of those who fought whilst dying are forgotten and we should recapture there legacy and raise our voice.

    The ASG isn’t the only issue. Look at the detail of the NHS. Our local trust is cutting 10% this year and similar cuts next year including its HIV directorate. They have already lost many admin posts and 8 medical posts. That is before you start to consider the lack of access to social care.

    Be under no illusion. Money is fast disappearing from HIV in one form or another. I don’t want to be labelled a ‘scaremonger’ rather look at the details. The truth is there.

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