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UK: National AIDS Trust criticises government over HIV strategy

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  1. However, I understand that the government did decide on giving a massive multi-million pound grant to the Terrence Higgins Trust for THT to “tackle HIV”.

    So the government cannot be accused of doing nothing.

    What I WOULD accuse the government of doing, however, is giving those millions to a gravy train (THT) that is not effectively tackling the spread of HIV.

    An HIV specialist nurse whom I know told me recently that she was appalled to find that teenagers in schools knew so little about avoiding HIV and that they had never heard of THT – which they would have if THT had been in their school and making a strong impression on them.

  2. You mean the £5m the THT was recently awarded to squander on yet more PC initiatives of the type that have served only to fuel ignorance around HIV among the ill-educated young and keep HIV rates soaring?

    How rich of the NAT to, albeit it rightly, criticise the government for its failings when it has nothing to hold its head up about.

    What exactly does the NAT stand for?

    Whatever has it achieved with the millions in taxpayers money it has absorbed?

    It’s done nothing but lap at the heels of its fellow coterie of CHAPs “partners” who collude to follow the same failed PC policies and espouse the same b*llsh*t rhetoric:- that the truth of the horrendous long-term consequences of HIV infection must never be mentioned lest those with the virus are stigmatised.

    Never mind that truth would serve as a deterrent to today’s rampantly bare backing youngsters who’ve emerged onto a scene hypersexualised by THT and GMFA’s own endorsement of, and participation in, the now mainstream sleaze scene.

  3. Oops, silly me, thank you K for pointing out that the THT was in fact awarded £8m, not £5m, over 3 years to do sod all to cut HIV rates.

    So we can await more HIV campaigns that are mutually interchangeable with campaigns for other, curable STIs (i.e. which don’t register), which use NLP programming techniques that incentivise rather than discourage unsafe sex, and which reinforce to today’s HIV-ignorant youngsters the inevitability of contracting a chronic and life-endangering disease.

    It i’s all very well telling youngsters to wear condoms, but if you don’t tell them the reasons WHY then why on earth should they listen for one minute?

    But why should THT be forthright and honest about the many pitfalls of HIV infection when it has its more profitable services portfolio to flog to the newly-infected?

    Absolutely frigging sickening, and it just amazes me why more people are not shouting out in anger at THT’s indifference, neglect and gross dereliction in duty around HIV prevention.

    1. @ Samuel, THT was awarded £6.8m and £1.13 to FPA, this news item should alos included other parthers and charitiable organisation which too has it objectives of supporting and prevnting HIV in a worlds place, I refer to EJAF, the NAZ project, AFPN……… as examples.

      For 2011/12, I refer to http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201012/ldselect/ldaids/188/18807.htm, How this this resource spent?

      1. Thanks for your time sent researching these links, K.

        Much appreciated! :)

        1. Could quote them of the back of my hand!

          1. I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by a lot of the information – much of it damning of the HIV sector – that you have presented and which concurs with what I have read elsewhere.

            However I would be fascinated to hear your actual take on the way statutory funding is apportioned and how the likes of THT, NAT et al actually spend it.

            And do you think THT has the right to cry poverty and downscale its services at a time when the government is making cutbacks when it is sitting on its own vast cash reserves accumulated via donations and various fund-raising events over the years?

            Shouldn’t it be putting these reserves to good use now, regardless of any restrictions supposedly imposed?

            For heaven’s sake, how can a charity be allowed only restricted access to said funds that are needed here and now, as has been claimed?

            Surely a charity cannot be allowed to speculate and accumulate on money we all donated one way or another when they are simultaneously crying poverty?!!

          2. @Samuel

            My response would be to refer to HM Government allocation of the ASG and Supporting People through the Area Base Grant, in real cash terms HM Government allucated a 23% and 18% real cash increase though the downside if the rate of infection increases by 7%pa there would be a net reduction spent per person.

            I refer to http://www.nat.org.uk/media/Files/Policy/2012/HIVSocialCareReport2012forweb.pdf to support HMG allocation. (http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/brr/sumcon/s2chapter7.pdf) the ASG is resourced more for Women/Child ratio and adult.

            On a positive note, NAT did resurface it review of the forthcoming spend but didn’t include around £3million which is also allocated to LA for capitial project.

            The DoH also pays around £1.8million on vacinne research, i refer http://www.rae.ac.uk/submissions/ra5a.aspx?id=7&type=uoa&subid=3529 and http://www.rae.ac.uk/Submissions/ra5a.aspx?id=171&type=hei&subid=3395

          3. Correct £1.3million per year.

            To further answer your question will be made through the publication of THT and others accounts.

            When the analysis of the the ASG for London was completed for 2010/11 or 2011/12 there was a around £1.2million underspend by local authroities, so they question of cry wolf should be targeted by THT to the LA concerned who hold the allocation and spend. Will the full amount be spent from the forthcoming allocations, this is somehing again THT and others need to question.

          4. Indeed, those of us who are genuinely interested know these facts or go & find them through FOI requests, reading annual accounts & actually getting involved……………………Samuel is far too lazy & uninterested in finding out these things for himself.

            To be fair, perhaps he does not have the intelligence to read a set of consolidated accounts, God knows I’ve tried over 2 years to at least provide him with some grasp on how charities are funded. Alas he is so blinkered & holds onto every word stated on Life or Meth website that he still fails to understand how Statutory income is awarded & spent, even tho it is clear to see in all the HIV charity accounts I have looked at.

          5. I knew an HIV-related forum absent of W6 was too good to last.

            Sigh…

  4. You have a Conservative Government…..The consistent Tory motto…..”Cut Funding!” That’s short and snappy! The longer version reads…

    “We aim to please our fat cat shareholder/supporters by cutting funding to all those that really need it…..who cares? They will die soon anyway!!!”

    1. Yes, Alan, but as Eddy above implies, the fat cats are also on the inside working hand-in-hand with the government to their guidelines and dictates.

      Despite the many millions the THT sits on accumulated from three decades of donations and fund-raising activities, it has allowed itself to become dependent on interfering outsiders who have dangled extra funding in return for THT agreeing to follow orders:- and THT has accepted this funding gladly while squirrelling its genuine (i.e. self-raised) funding away into prime central London properties for a rainy day that will forever be on the horizon (i.e. never)…

      THAT, my friend, is the true definition of fat cat careerists riding the gravy train at every one else’s expense!

      1. Do you really think £6million of assets is “many millions” in the grand scheme if things – this figure has been agreed by the Trustees of THat & equates to about 4 months operation of the charity should all funding be removed.

        You always attack Nick Partridge but never ever mention the charity Trustees who’s job it is to hold the Executive to account…….

  5. Look out, folks, any minute now THT’s own W6 will come tearing in, mouth foaming, to zap us all with three red arrows apiece (dunno how he does it but he does!) while blustering and evading the serious issues raised, I guarantee it!

    1. Sorry to disappoint Samuel, but this thread has been hijacked by SPAM, & to be frank you & other commentators have completely missed the point, instead preferring to launch the predictable attack on THT.

      Perhaps when your Local Authority has decided to employ the likes of Serco / Virgin Healthcare to undertake Sexual Health / HIV prevention services, you may wish you had read what NAT is actually saying. The Right Wing agenda here is to prop up this shambolic Gov’t & allow them to get away with not providing the leadership that is needed if HIV / STI rates are to be reduced in England

      You talk about £6million as if it were a huge sum of money – this has been awarded over 3 years, to fund England wide campaigns – can none of you see this is peanuts in comparison to the amount it costs in treating HIV? This is one reason why the Gov’t needs to have a joined up approach to HIV / Sexual Health. Let Serco take over I say, no one seems interested in HIV & their Sexual Health these days

      1. When HIV prevention, care & treatment have been fragmented & GUM / HIV clinics in hospitals will close because the funds have been diverted to private contractors we will then see the outcry from those who have totally missed the point that the likes of NAT, the British HIV Association & the British Association of Sexual Health & HIV are making.

        It really is laughable when those who are often the first to shout loud about freedom of speech & freedom of thought are the very ones who in this & other threads have totally prevented good debate occurring because of their own selfish agenda.

        Pink Paper online recently closed, the same will happen to PN if they do not start moderating these pages to prevent the level of SPAM / hatred we constantly see. There are many fine contributors that do not post here anymore & the level of debate has fallen because of this. Shame on those who seek to prevent good folk entering important debates. You makes your bed………………..

        1. I think you’ll find, W6, that PN is in a very healthy state and not subject to the same forces that resulted in PP’s closure.

          What do you mean by “Shame on those who seek to prevent good folk entering important debates. You makes your bed…”

          More idle threats?

          People are free to air whatever comments they like on here:- there aren’t gangs lying in wait to scare them off.

          The fact is you are an increasingly isolated voice as the shift in consciousness towards truth is isolating your tired arguments by the day as more and more commentators see what is really happening.

          At least you’ve had the decency to finally admit to being an insider and therefore have declared your interest in your unswerving loyalty and allegiance to the THT.

          But it IS the views of those of us NOT tied in any way to THT that matter.

          And when our community fully awakens to the wilful malpractice and misguided policies that have resulted in endemic HIV rates, you’d better batten the hatches at Grays Inn Rd HQ.

          1. “People are free to air whatever comments they like on here:- there aren’t gangs lying in wait to scare them off” – well how odd is that because you often cry foul that I have henchmen waiting to ambush you Samuel, maybe there is some delusion going on in your head???

        2. @W6 on the issue of HIV care and Treatment is the current system already fragemnted by organisation/funding routes of who can access support from which funding is provided, a postcode lottery. Once BHIVA report is issued on http://www.bhiva.org/standards-of-care-2012.aspx I hope this will be enacted once/if the NCB takes over, the NHS has it equility also to fulfil through the Equiility Act, Age Discrimination legalistaion, Social Care law…… to which the NHS, LA and third party orgainisations duty lays through its support and servicing the needs of those affected by HIV/AIDS in the UK

          Given we are 25 years on lving with HIV/AIDS through understanding the virus, the complex of treatment issues etc, set again a new boundary for involvment and support living with the virus in many ways, this maybe through housing, social care, indepedant living…….. somethinh which is not just affecting the HIV/AIDS community but the whole UK with an ageing population.

          1. (the NHS has its) Duty not Equility meant.

          2. I agree that Social care in particular is very fragmented as it stands often because of funding streams – which I think will only get worst. I had hoped to go to the BHIVA meeting on Tues but I was not able to get there on time. I could quote many examples the fragmented approach many people face not just within the HIV sector; also in mental health, & I am very sure it happens with other long term conditions.

            I recently came across an individual who had been given Septrin by his clinic & asked that the GP continue prescribing until such times the thread of PCP was over. The GP refused to prescribe Septrin & the clinic & GP ping pong for 8 weeks, during which time the person had no antibiotic cover -madness! The cost pressures between services & funding streams makes it very difficult to navigate the system – & it will only get worst I believe; something that NAT has highlighted but numbskulls like Samuel B can’t see beyond his nose!

          3. In some respects National Commissioning of HIV Care & Treatment may be a good thing – hopefully it will drive up standards of care & also make the cost of treatment cheaper via volume purchasing. But even then can be be guaranteed that we do not end up in a situation where BHIVA are saying x,y,x, drugs are the best for first line treatment & the commissioners say well you can have a,b,c drugs because they are cheaper (we have this at the moment in London where Truvada is the preferred NRTI backbone, but many London Clinics are prescribing Kivexa because of the purchasing deals that have been done -again these are things that many commentators here do not understand & some do not want to understand because of their own very fixed views on HIV treatment & care.

            Local Authorities at the moment do not always spend allocated funding for HIV services & my worry is prevention when handed over to them will become a post code lottery!

          4. From my experince Social Services operates through the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) which has levels of Critical to Low, most LA have raised the bar to Critical and will depend on your LA.

            As to the person with PCP doe this then support the claim of starting ARV’s when the CD4 is around 350? I feel that the precribing clinic of Septrin has it responsbaility through continuning care until the GP is able to prescribe, in the event this person was hospitialize would have cost £2,500 instead of a £7.65 perscription?

            Re: National Commissiong, http://www.forum-link.org/ does’t freely make available information online yet.

            What ever the guideline suggested, this could be all thrown out of the window, if the patient is unable to tolerate the treatment. On average HIV treatments costs around £8,500 per annum. (this include ARV, inpatitent care, other disgnostic tests and other treatments).

            It will be for people to engage with LA also, if this is to work, if it is at all?

  6. faeces on the penis causes HPV-- and HIV,..., 17 Oct 2012, 3:59pm

    As always, the deviant brigade are apt to blame others for the consequences of their disgusting lifestyle choices which cause them to die horribly.
    Take responsibility for yourselves or better still, get some morals!

    1. Isn’t it about time you stepped out of the closet fully and embraced your sexuality full on before it’s too late for you to enjoy a big fat one up the jacksee?

      Self-denial only leads to a curtailed life of misery, bitterness and hatred because all that negativity eventually manifests physically as disease.

      By that reckoning we won’t be seeing you around these parts too much longer…

      1. faeces on the penis causes HPV-- and HIV,..., 17 Oct 2012, 4:43pm

        Thanks for the critique.
        Bad day at the clinic?

        1. What a truly pitiful specimen.

          You have my every sympathy and I hope one day you will find the inner peace you so clearly crave.

    2. Dave North 17 Oct 2012, 5:17pm

      Oh FECK off will you.

  7. Also give credit were its due to PN for it stories and comments allowed! What untold has this brought to highlight and inform in a wider place.

    1. Absolutely, K.

      PN is doing a very good job of keeping us informed these days!

      Must be a new administration in place.

      1. I note W6 just cannot keep his fingers off those red arrows!

        Presumably THT HQ’s IT system is served by three different networks, thus enabling him to override PN’s “tamper-proof” set-up…

        1. Do you not realise how paranoid & deluded the above remarks make you sound Samuel. When you looked in the mirror today are you sure it was your own reflection you saw? Seems to me you see conspiracy everywhere………….as I have said before you must even be suspicious of your own shadow! I think your head is playing games with you.

          Has it never ever occurred to you that perhaps other people just don’t like your comments? Perhaps you are deluded that you are the spokesperson for all PN readers & gay men……………you often say I am the isolated voice on PN – I think you are very much mistaken. That said we should acknowledge that many of PN readers do have rather Right Wing views, so I guess I am in a minority! What was the term Samuel you use – oh yes PC indoctrinated zealots! As I say perhaps what you see in the mirror is not quite as you perceive it to be!

  8. I don’t think he’s exactly missed around these parts, Caped Crusader, so don’t chance fate by mentioning ‘that’ postcode monicker!!!! :)

  9. Please excuse my ignorance but i am mystified as to why H.I.V. rates should be rising because i had presumed that everyone would have been aware (as common knowledge) of the importance of wearing condoms. That the Gay community educated itself regarding this not least because of its serious nature. Is the increase being seen in younger gays only, as many of the comments here suggest that the quality of health education has deteriorated more recently ?

    1. Where have you been hiding, Graham?

      HIV rates rose throughout the 1980s and only began to fall in the 1990s when hard-hitting prevention campaigns were the order of the day.

      They were at their lowest level around the time that HAARP was introduced, 1995/6, at which point the HIV sector, aided and abetted by the pharmaceutical industry, laudably began focusing its efforts on treating those infected, but at the same time catastrophically watered-down its HIV prevention campaigns.

      As campaigns lessened in impact and no longer served as a deterrent, HIV rates since 1996 have almost consistently been rising year in year out to today’s levels of epidemic infection.

      And now of course we have the mass rallying call to testing, so that the likes of THT can provide the solutions (services and treatments) to the problem (lack of HIV awareness) that IT created!

      Elephant in the room, anyone?

      1. As predictable as ever, W6.

        Why not just change your moniker to “Threeredarrows” and be done with it?

        This is exactly the kind of deceitful, dishonest behaviour that does your organisation no favours, W6, but good that I am now far from being alone in seeing it for what it is.

      2. Thank you Samuel for the information – Because we hear so little about H.I.V generally in the news now and we are aware that there has been great strides in terms of treatment unless you have a direct interest i suppose you remain largely ignorant of the true position and presume that things are improving. I wonder if a hard hitting campaign would have the same impact now as it did back then ? It seems harsh to criticise T.H.T when they are providing vital treatments ,I presume they have a limited budget and have to make a strategic decision on how best to spend the money. That is a judgement which is obviously criticised on this site. If the education / awareness programmes did not have the same effect as before no doubt they would be criticised for not supplying adequate treatments/ saving lives. Perhaps another body needs to attract funds to focus more on the health education side. How many of those infected are unaware beforehand of the risks ?

        1. Samuel B consistently wages a smear campaign against THT, NAT, GMFA & any charity that is involved with HIV. His view is that all Government funding should be removed from these organisations & that said charities should operate based on public donations alone. What he never explains is who should provide HIV services? My guess is that he would really like more companies like Serco & Virgin Health to be involved & for them to take over from charities well known & established charities.

          Of course any private company will make bids for the easiest lowest hanging fruit as they have done with the THT Direct service – Samuel says he is passionate about HIV prevention, but it would be a very brave company that would get it’s hands dirty in this complex area, where behavioural outcomes are very difficult to audit & track.

          1. We are seeing the fragmentation of HIV services in the new NHS arrangements. HIV care & treatment to be commissioned Nationally & HIV prevention to be devolved to groups of Local Authorities – this is a car crash waiting to happen, with more money wasted on duplication & bureaucracy. For HIV charities to go down the same route will result in exactly the same fragmentation & confusion as we will see in the NHS.

            There will undoubtedly be many more HIV charity casualties because there is too much duplication & not enough emphasis on a strategic approach to HIV / Sexual Health – this is what NAT are calling for but it seems no one who has commentated so far has considered. The devil as they say is in the detail!

            Serco are now running a National Sexual Health help line; does anyone know the number? Has anyone seen adverts to signpost users to the service? Be careful what you wish for is all I would say, solving the HIV problem is not just about hard hitting campaigns in gay magazines.

          2. “What he never explains is who should provide HIV services?”

            That’s a most disingenuous statement, W6.

            I’ve never actually claimed that THT should not continue providing support services and advice to HIV clients.

            Only that it should surrender its monopoly on the HIV prevention budget to an independent organisation whose only remit is to focus entirely on preventing HIV’s spread.

            I’ve explained my reasons for this many times but as usual you twist my words so that you can accuse me of wishing for the incoming set up by which faceless corporations are awarded HIV services contracts.

            Perhaps had THT not been so greedy and monopolistic by nature and focused exclusively on services then we would not be in the situation we’re in today when the government can rightly claim that it is juggling too many plates and making a hash of things.

            The thought of even greedier enterprises taking over THT’s work is one that fills me with abject horror, but look closer to home for someone to blame!

          3. …and I daresay THT chief exec Nick Partridge will be destined for a plumb directorship at one of these faceless corporate contractors when the Trust is unable to maintain him in the comfort and luxury he has come accustomed to during the past 20 years…

          4. If you are not careful Samuel, you are the one who is going to have to downgrade from your current position of doing the Tories’ dirty work. Perhaps you can fathom something worse than that, can’t you? Use your imagination.

          5. Your arguments are often full of rhetoric Samuel so I use the same tactics. Let us be in no doubt that relish the idea of THT loosing all the funding for HIV prevention – I wonder how much you think that funding amounts to? You think oh THT get over £20million a year to spend on prevention; the figure is nearer £5.8 million, which includes approx £1million of restricted funds. Out of this figure prevention programmes must be provided Nationally & cover all at risk groups inc general prevention aimed at the total population

            We know that you think HIV only is a problem for gay men, so lets assume gay men get 50% of the statuary prevention funding, this amounts to a piddling £2.4million of unrestricted & 500k of restricted funding (which was the grant provided by the DoH for THT Direct)

            You tell me what organisation is really going to take on the onerous task of providing prevention services for gay men up & down the country particualraly as outcomes are so difficult to capture & audit

        2. Thank goodness Samuel B is not in a position to influence those who make decisions relating to HIV / Sexual Health, but there again he really is not that interested – he knows very little about the subject matter (he thinks AZT is still widely used to treat HIV), he refuses to get involved (why should HE make change happen) you certainly will not find him making a donation of time or money to HIV (he is far too busy working 6 days a week making £ for his retail bosses)

          He & his ilk will be the first to start bleating (why are PN not reporting this I hear him shout!) when in the future he goes for a sexual health check only to find that it has been taken over by Tesco or Asda. They can do the tests & give him results he will have to go to an NHS facility should he need treating! If he needs a to talk to anyone about HIV, perhaps a condom breaks he will first call Serco who will then direct him to THT Direct who are the very people he loathes! Good luck I say if that is his vision!

        3. Of course you’re spot-on, Graham, with your observation that another body needs to focus solely on the health education side.

          THT is a bureaucracy and one driven by its monopoly in providing advice and services to its HIV-positive clients.

          It is cruelly ironic that under this scenario it’s actually dependent on an unending stream of newly-diagnosed people contacting it for support and services.

          It’s doubly cruelly ironic and, frankly, preposterous, that it’s also tasked with preventing the spread of the very virus upon which it has grown rich and ensured a luxury lifestyle and OBE for its chief exec.

          Which explains exactly why it’s helped fuel HIV rates with “prevention” initiatives that have constantly failed, and equally why it is now urging all gay men to test so that it can now provide services to the very people it has wilfully failed.

          But then, with revolving doors into a government rank with corruption and rife with pharmaceutical lobbyists…

          Catch my drift, Graham?

          1. So given that the amount of money available for HIV prevention for gay men is about £2.5 million how would you like to see that spent Samuel? Lets see…………..your view of prevention is very simple frighten then to death with ads in all the gay magazines slogans such as:

            “If you don’t use a condom you will die of AIDS”
            “HIV takes at least 10 yrs off your life”
            “You have to take a cocktail of toxic chemotherpy like drugs”
            “The side effects of drugs are horrific”
            “Your bones become brittle & your kidneys fail”
            “You will be shunned by other gay men because of your +ve Status”
            “You will be dependent on benefits because you will not be able to work”………….I could go on & on but these are the slogans YOU want to see in the gay press, because you think this is what prevention is about …….TOTALLY WRONG!

          2. So for the rest of the £2million we need to build a website, employ staff, train staff, set up premises throughout the UK, set up infra structure & IT services, engage with other service providers, provide clinical testing & outreach services….do you really think £2million a year will cover the cost of all that?

            Of course a company like Virgin Healthcare or Serco, or even Asda / Tesco might be interested in this sort of buisness, but they would want a slice of the bread & butter which is long term condition management statuary funding & the clinical testing services. In this current funding climate no other charity is going to take on just the HIV prevention job because it is too risky as a stand alone function because it involves duplication of resources!

            For all the grief THT gets for its prevention strategies giving up about £3million is not the end of the world. I wonder why Status never put a bid in for the latest 3 year contact awarded to THT? Not lucrative enough me thinks!

          3. For a retail manager Samuel you seem very naive when it comes to finance……………….if I were you I would be lobbying your local MP & Councillors about HIV prevention funding for gay men, because come next year town halls up & down England will be holding the purse strings for many of these prevention initiatives. Perhaps some will buy in services from the likes of THT, GMFA, George House Trust etc or maybe they will buy in from Serco, Virgin or even you Samuel,but you best be quick because I can imagine there is a queue of charities & companies just waiting to lap up all these lucrative deals! Successive Gov’s have imposed market conditions on “the 3rd sector charities” & this will get worst under the new NHS structures – wake up smell the coffee as you would say!

            Some LA’s will only purchase what they to perceive to be adequate, I can’t see Tory Town Halls being generous – then what will you be saying I wonder? As I say be careful what you wish for!

  10. Dave North 18 Oct 2012, 7:08pm

    You need help………………

  11. Pink News – Do we really have to put up with this SPAM, it makes the pages confusing & does not even relate to the story – please sort it out!

  12. I see Baseline have also had a SPAM attack by an idiot known as Alan Strong…….exact same SPAM as on here. Get a life you fool!

  13. I am very sure that baseline will take this crap down tomorrow!

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