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Comment: The government is failing on HIV

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  1. HM Government may be slow on the up take, though it has recently published .

    Accurate number of people living with HIV/AIDS through the HPA published figures should be addressed by commissioning and funding.

    The ASG for 2011 onwards though is increased in real funding, £ less will be spent due to the increase in the no of people affected by HIV/AIDS

    Analysis of London spend should allow the NHS to address it budgets

    It was also reported in the HoL report that the budgets on prevention also needs to be addressed.

    London did carry out a consultation for it prevention programme, the full draft is awaited

  2. Amongst the HoL report published in 2011 on HIV/AIDS in the UK, London is awaiting publication of the HIV prevention needs assessment in full refer

    Other commissioning topics are raised under

    Analysis of the ASG and FOI to the LSCG can be found , NAT and Andrew Pearmain did publish information of the ASG.

    The HoL report did look and recommend prevnetion needed to be address and was about 1-5% of the actual cost of treatment.

  3. Hear, hear.

    HIV may now be (usually) manageable, but teenagers need to understand that it is not curable, and is still a serious illness with far-reaching effects.

    I particularly agree that school education needs to be a lot more explicit, and needs to explain specifically how to have safer gay male sex.

    But schools also need to accept that both male and female students are having anal sex, and they need to make sure that all students understand the particular risks of anal intercourse and how to make it as safe as possible.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:08am

      Agreed. There certainly is too much misinformation out there. One of the biggest problems is segregating into group because as long as we do that we have people thinking they are immune.

  4. Yes, Mr. Tatchell, you have some good suggestions, but all the good safe sex education you can think of will NEVER be as powerful an educator as the vast amount of pornography that is available in shops and on the Internet. That pornography peddles a very different message and it is much more attractive to anyone who is horny!

    Much pornography is still bareback. So bareback should be made illegal.

    Nearly all pornography features sex that takes place outside of a committed relationship. Most pornography features fantasies of having risky casual sex with total strangers.

    The images that people see in porno films leaves any safe-sex education DEAD IN THE WATER.

    Start campaigning for the cleaning up of the real educator: PORNOGRAPHY.

    1. TheBrutalKremlin 4 Dec 2011, 7:34pm

      Absolutely!! Not o mention the unsafe party promoters, and frivolous approach to HIV on hookup sites like gaydar and others – where the youngest have no hope of being reached, meaningfully. Methinks Tatchell won’t dare take on the powerful gay porno or sex club people…or those who argue ‘choice’ when it comes to unsafe sleaze. That’s what a real activist would do.

      1. If I didn’t know better I would have thought I was back in the 80’s when there was a call to close down all the bathhouses, that didn’t work then and censoring porn, hookup sites and sex clubs is not likely to solve the problem either.

        HIV is amongst the gay community as it was in the 80’s nothing has changed there, gay men are high risk because the population HIV viral load is highly concentrated. The gay community needs to totally understand this, be responsible, get tested and consistently use condoms. It really is not good enough in 2011 that there are gay men who have no idea about their HIV status, there can be no excuse for taking a 20 minute finger prick test.

        We need to drive down population VL to reduce forward transmissions! Education, education education not removing personal choice is the way forward

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:09am

      Why do people blame porn? If I watch a horror I don’t have the need to go out killing people. It’s a poor excuse to take blame away from individuals.

  5. And, Peter, where’s your call for the Government to do something momentous to encourage the development of THE CURE??????

    1. Where’s yours Chas?

      Why do so many people attack this man every time he has something to say? At least he does something.

      There is no reason why both your opinion regarding pornography and Tatchell’s opinions aren’t valid.

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:10am

      Erm Chas, you clearly don’t understand the complex details of teh HIV virus.

  6. Peter is absolutely right. Further, unless there is compulsory sex education and STD information taught in schools, the incidence of infection will never diminish. The parents should be demanding that school curricula include sex education whether they like it or not. The fact of the matter is, their children are having sex at far earlier ages and they leave school with next to no information on STD transmission or pregnancy prevention. Is it no wonder we have some of the highest rates of both in the EU? Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    1. Would that it could be so. Unfortunately it is often the parents who demand that their children are NOT taught about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, some even demand that their children are not taught abut sex at all!

      It is hard to believe, but there are parents who simply bury their heads in the sand and don’t believe that their children are even physically capable of having intercourse, let alone doing it! Many parents need to be educated, not just the children. I think children & young people are much more savvy and well-informed about these matters than their parents are.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:13am

        Yes I agree. It usually is a result of the parents. This education should be compulsory, end of. Parent may not like to think of their children growing up and having sex but it;s going to happen. It is their responsibilty to protect them by allowing them to have ALL the correct information.

  7. The reason the government is slow is because they made AIDS,
    the good parts start at about 55 minutes.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:13am

      How many times are you gonna keep putting that? I hate repeats at the best of times.

  8. Nor are there any notable private campaigns,society dropped the ball.

    1. TheBrutalKremlin 4 Dec 2011, 7:35pm

      Exactly. EVeryone decided the crisis was over, and went and got high.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:14am

        and decided not to listen?

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:14am

      There are always campaigns you just choose not to look but they are out there and always have been.

  9. Why don’t you actually go and visit a school? Saying they roll a condom on a banana is just plain stupid. I’ve just come out of 6th form education and over the 7 years I was in that school we talked about HIV numerous times in science and PSHE, and ALWAYS went over prevention. Within my secondary school they always said that it was less likely you’d catch HIV with oral sex and non-penetrative sex but they never ruled it out.
    Personally when it comes to teaching about gay sex it’s basically common sense to adapt it to gay sex, and also the textbooks which pupils generally learn though do talk about it.

    I think you just like to moan, the clinics struggle to provide cheaper drugs because the pharmaceutical companies charge so much for the drugs and there simply isn’t enough money to go around.

    1. Also don’t think that my school was some kind of exceeding institute, it was actually deemed as failing and changed into an academy a year ago from being one of the ‘worst’ in Oxfordshire.

  10. Sorry Peter. I was always under the impression it was down to the HIV charities to fund these campaigns. Aren’t charities in the business of raising funds to support their own work, or is THT now owned and run by the government?
    I read on another of these forum discussions that THT made £250,000 “profit” last year and spent £2 million fundraising. Why the heck isn’t that money being channelled back into HIV prevention? Wasn’t THT originally established to reduce HIV infection?
    Why does THT and co always need to go begging to Whitehall for HIV prevention funds when it raises over £20,000,000 annually? Something is not quite right here. Is THT saying it is not really independent and is dependent on funding and guidance from the government?
    No wonder we are in such a mess. Gay men are no longer taking the initiative and putting into motion what needs to be done. If we wait for the government to act, which we are doing, then nothing will ever be done to tackle HIV seriously.

    1. Toby

      Your analysis of THT as its financial situation is very much over simplified, I suggest that you read the full trustee report to gain an insight into where it’s funds come from and where they are spent.

      As for making a profit, the correct term is “reserve” which the commentator you have quoted has misled readers due to his poor analysis of the facts before him. Given the financial climate what organisation is not going to factor in a contingency for even further reduced funding in the next budget year?

      THT was set up in the wake of the HIV epidemic in the 80’s to help deal with the growing criss as it was back then, again perhaps familiarise yourself with the subject matter and then form a considered opinion, rather than rely on others who have their own agenda to promote.

      1. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2011, 7:29pm

        Say WHAT?!?! Un-frigging believable, and scaling new heights of b*ullsh*t from W6. “Reserve”, “surplus”, call it what you will, but it is pure profit!! THT has a guaranteed income in the millions, W6, Get real!

        Think what THT could do with this, ahem, “surplus”, if it really wanted to make a dent in HIV rates. They could stem the tide and have new diagnosis rates tumbling within just a couple of years with the correct and sustained approach. But of course they won’t because they have an empire to maintain and pharma execs to keep happy.

        W6 is correct in one thing. THT was indeed set up to help “deal” with the frowing crisis, and its mission statement was to prevent new infections. Interesting how that mission statement has morphed over the years and that prevention no longer stands out as even one of its core objective, as that’s not where the dirty luca is.

        Thank God Status is starting to get some funding and establishing itself as an HIV prevention force to be reckoned with…

        1. You might also want to consider that sexual health and HIV does not stop at the M25 nor does it only affect gay men, something that you seem to forget. If you understood anything about the HIV pandemic you would know that the level ov HIV is concentrated within the gay community, therefore unless condoms are used consistently then sadly there will always be a higher proportion of gay men exposed to the virus and therefore at greater risk of becoming infected – this is fact. In 2011 it is unforgivable that a significant number of gay men refuse an HIV test when they go for sexual screening – why is this happening? It is irresponsible in my view but who am I to impose my views on others and take the moral high ground. We cannot make guys test and or wear condoms, all we can do is give them the education to make the correct choices in life.

          1. There is a post missing here which I will address shortly. I should also point out that it’s probably incorrect of me to assume that HIV tests were refused, as in some occasions perhaps an HIV test was not either requested or suggested.

            That said the Sentinel post screening blood test results reveal that 25% of gay men are leaving the GUM clinic without knowing they are HIV positive – why is this still happening? Perhaps you can answer that question directly Samuel, given that testing has been focused on, as you have acknowledged, yet openly criticised.

            Testing is an essential control measure to help in any pandemic and is it all to do with reducing new infections and nothing to do with pharma company profits. That could be a separate debate which has no value in the control of HIV.

          2. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:16am

            Well said W6…!!

        2. Samuel your analyis of the Trustee Statement for THT bears no relation to what is actually detailed in the full report. For those who wish to make up their own mind, here is the link.

          THT does not have sharholders so it does not provide an income to sharholders, so there is no requirement for THT to “make a profit” as you suggest. Where does this “profit” go do you think? It goes into the charity reserves. Why does it need to go into the charity reserves I hear you ask – to help safegaurd the continuing work of the charity in the future, given the current climate of cuts & required efficiency savings.
          Lets look at the basic Statutary funding (this is tax payers money from Gov & PCT’s for National & Regional work ) for THT in the year ended 2011, was just over £15 million – hardly the huge amount you are suggesting in your over stated manner Samuel. There is no gaurantee that this funding will increase in the future

          1. Now lets look at the role of THT and how it has developed as the HIV pandemic has also developed. THT was set up to provide support and practical help to those people who were infected with the virus in the early days – at that time the virus was seen mainly in gay men, it was natural that THT would focus on the gay community. Times have changed, the prevelence of HIV in different communites has changed & THT has reacted as a result of this. THT is a national Sexual Health charity that continues to support those with HIV & other STI’s. If provides education,outreach serives and sexual health campaigns both Nationally and on a Regoinal basis to all population groups, but particularly for those at risk groups. Some commentators feel HIV has been “de-gayed” this is rubbish, HIV has no boundaries. Gay men are no different to others in the general population, except that there is a higher concentration of HIV amongst them so therefore the need to take extra care & wear a condom / get tested

          2. To link into my posting about HIV and the M25. THT has expanded nationally, and perhaps this has not been the best policy – BUT consider this, as the pot of money spent by the tax payer on HIV & Sexual Health has not really grown to meet demand, many areas of the country would have been left without any local or regoinal HIV / Sexual Health charity if there had not been more mergers. I’m not particulalry in favour of one large organisation but I beleive THT has had a major impact on both the support for people living with HIV & on reducing new infections. As I have previously stated HIV cannot be taken in isolation – other STI’s are rising steeply. As these are in the main “curable” they are just not taken as seriously as HIV. The fact remains that anyone with an undiagnosed STI is at greater risk of getting or passing on HIV this is medical fact not my perception. Condoms cannot always protect from other STI’s so prevention is a more complex picture than some would like to admit to.

          3. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:17am

            It very sad when it’s people who don’t have HIV who go out pretending they know all the facts when they know very little and those that do have HIV get put down for actually living and knowing the facts!

      2. It is very interesting that individuals are happy to give a negative vote to a comment but not have the balls to explain why – I wonder who I could be referring to???? lol

    2. @ Samuel I am extremely fed up with you making every story that features HIV your cue to make wild accusations about the HIV charities, and to try to discredit people who live with HIV. Your constant undertones that +ve individuals are victims or want to be perceived as victims are totally unfounded, and your poor choice of words is offensive, as is your lack of rudimentary knowledge of HIV. I would mind you to refrain from making written statements about me that are unfounded as I will from now on be reporting you to PN – I am fed up of your slurs and use of offensive words towards me.

      Your ever present irrational fear of HIV is the driving force for many of the statements you make, which are often inaccurate or just cherry picked sound bites. You are creating divisions between sero-discordant gay men which I consider very damaging, inflamatory and bordering on clear discrimination towards +ve people.

      1. Delirious? Tick
        Ranting? Tick
        Disingenuous? Tick
        Irrational? Tick
        Deluded? Tick
        Paranoid? Tick?
        Etc. Etc.

        W6, you will of course understand that the fact you are on this forum morning, noon and night does indeed make you sound like a shill or disinformation agent for the HIV sector, the functioning of which you seem to know an awful lot about. Clearly you are carrying out a task you have been set by who knows who, but its ultimate aim is for selfish interests and not to the greater good of the health and well being of gay men.

        Since you go to lengths to insist you’re not a disinfo shill, the only other possibility is that you’re desperate to a very unhealthy degree to make your points. Of course, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but everyone knows it by now, and your constant presence here makes you sound dangerously obsessive. Seriously – you really do need to chill out and take a step back now.

        1. And now you have to repeat yourself Samuel because you have nothing else to say – what a fool you really are. Educated people have proper debates on this site – in one recent thread there were 75 replies to a commnet. Whilst I may not have agreed with one side of the argument at least there was a proper debate with each side putting forward responses to questions raised. When you have run out of your sound bites that you take from everyone else you have to resort to name calling and making wild assumptions about people you do not know. I dont know how you can call me selfish Samuel when you are more than prepared to sacrifice the few for the many in your sensationalist approach to all things HIV related. I have yet to get a straight answer from you on any simple question – you avoid, deflect and use playgorund tactics to discredit those who know more than you. Your arguments are lame and you do not understand the subject matter – I do not suffer fools and you are a fool

          1. I recently caught you out with your incorrect assessment of the changes to the London HIV meds. You thought you had me cornered, it must have been so shameful for you to have other commentators agree that my assessment of the situation was the same as theirs. There is nothing you can challenge me on with regard to the understanding of HIV, it treatment and care & also the wider picture that HIV presents to the population as a whole. You are just selfish with your blinkered view about HIV & gay men -yet you know nothing current about HIV, all your information is at least 10 years out of date if not more out of date. You show yourself up time and time again but the sad thing is you really are not aware of your failings, and your arogance knows no bounds. You spout the same crap over and over again, the same words and the same tired arguments, even when celebrities are doing something worthwhile to WAD you have to make negative comments! Your life must be so blighted by the fear of HIV.

          2. You don’t want to debate, W6, you want to attack all opposing points all the time. If you recall, just a couple of weeks ago I attempted to make my peace with you and Stu and suggested we debate all further HIV-related topics with respect for one another’s opinions.

            I at least earned Stu’s respect for that, and if you check you will see that myself and Stu, while agreeing to disagree over certain points, nevertheless proceeded to respect what each other had to say and debated politely and concisely.

            However you, as usual, came steaming in like a rabid packhound, determined to push your own narrow view/agenda on the world and to hell with everyone’s else’s point. All we ever hear from you is your terrified ego lashing out to protect itself, never rationalising a point from a wider, mainstream perspective.

            You’re one extraordinarily angry, frightened man, W6, and that anger makes you appear inarticulate and incoherent most of the time. You need to take a break and compose yourself.

          3. How did you catch me out, exactly? What I said was in essence true.That the NHS is already making aproaches to people on HIV meds to see if they are willing to switch to cheaper alternatives. I assumed by cheaper that also meant less effective, and we have you to thank for pointing out that this is not necessarily the case, so thank you for putting me right there.

            I also suggested that as in other scenarios where cancer patients, for example, are now being denied life-saving drugs on the basis that they are too expensive, this could be the top of a slippery slope where we see a similar policy being applied to HIV drugs by stealth.

            To this you, or rather your ego, exploded with bile, presumanly terrified at such a suggestion when the evidence is in fact staring us in the face. The NHS is being forced to make savage cuts everywhere as austerity bites, yet you appear to think that those with HIV are immune from any form of cost cutting exercise.

            Get real, W6, and do the math…

          4. The rate at which gay men are becoming infected with HIV and the rate of those infections being diagnosed multiplied by the actual cost of prescribing treatment to each of those diagnoses is, get this, unsustainable!!

            The failures of those you hold in such high regard within the HIV sector to stem the rate of infection actually threatens your assumed entitlement to continue to receive the most effective HIV treatments ad infinitum charged to the taxpayer, because there will come a point where the HIV meds “bubble” will burst and cheaper, less effect options must come into play.

            It won’t happen overnight as the outcry would be enormous. It will probably be a drip drip effect as with cancer and other treatments so we become conditioned into accepting the inevitability of cheaper generics, of which recent moves by the NHS are only the first steps.

            When there is no money left in the bank and people are losing their houses and can’t heat the homes they still have the cuts will be severe.

          5. As anyone reading this particular thread will not you have launched into a personal attack on me, in my response to Toby I referred to other “commentators” not to you personally, yet you launched your tirade at my response to Toby and made it personal, yet you have no idea how offensive and provocative the language you use is. Other commentators have also commented on your poor use of words which are chosen to offend. This makes you offensive to me and others who contribute here.

          6. With regard to the meds discussion you made assumptions and in your sensationalist way headlined them as fact and it was scandalous that no one was paying attention. You suggested that generic drugs are being used, and that the cheaper drugs were less effective. What this demonstrates very clearly is that you are unable to make a proper analysis of the situation and your lack of knowledge in the subject matter means you make statements that are not true and could be damaging to others reading your postings. You are often inaccurate in your analysis of HIV science and have no interest in providing a balanced argument.

          7. During that discussion I very clearly demonstrated that cost of HIV treatment is likely to become an issue, and I also clearly explained my personal efforts to reduce cost to the NHS, something you have conveniently not mentioned here, so once again we have half the story which gives the reader a false impression of the subject matter. I will not take lectures from you on the cost of HIV treatment as you do not understand the subject matter. I keep having to use the words “subject matter” because your arguments often lack this important content.

          8. In terms of my agenda I have previously explained that I will continue to correct inaccurate information, half truths and out of date perceptions masquerading as fact. Balance is important and other commentators have also noted your lack of a balanced argument, so my agenda is to correct you to provide that balance. Your agenda is obvious and comes up in every HIV related article the same unfounded attacks on the HIV charities. You even had to openly criticsise the good causes that were being reported on WAD. This shows your lack of respect and empathy for those living with the virus. Poor judgement at best biggotry in its worst form.

          9. I will be the first to admit that Stu is much more measured in his approach to you, he writes very well. Given that you have been attacking me more or less since I have been using these forums I am not going to let you make unfounded remarks about me, to discredit my knowledge and describe me in a hateful, biggotted and wildly inaccurate manner. You have no shame and dislike being challenged. You avoid answering direct questions yet ask personal questions of others, you have double standards. Quite simply you are the frightened, weak and loathsome party here. You are a disgrace and should be totally ashamed of the way you conduct yourself on this forum.

          10. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:18am

            SamuelB love – do grow up. Debate is about different opinions.

  11. Jock S. Trap 18 Dec 2011, 8:07am

    Just a shame Mr Tatchell didn’t pick this up from the last government. Pick your battles fine but seriously, what the game. This is people lives and all government should be doing more.

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