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THT boss: There is not enough money for a high-profile HIV awareness TV campaign

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  1. Can someone please explain to me how, in the second decade of the 21st century, “awareness” is still an issue?

    This is not like the early days, where information was poor, contradictory, or non-existent. How do people NOT know and need awareness?

    Consider, as an analogy, a road traffic accident. We know seat belts save lives. If you had your seat belt on and got hurt, then that is understood to be tragic. If you left your seat belt off on purpose and got projected through the windscreen then how bloody stupid were you?

    There is an issue here beyond awareness – we know what it is, how it is transferred and what the future can mean for HIV/AIDS patients. So what is it? Is it a capricious act? A deliberate intentional choice? Deliberate ignorance? Why are people disregarding an identifiable risk? Time to stop playing nice and drag the damned truth out into the light.

    Until then, no, I won’t give another bloody penny.

    1. What in your view is the “damned truth” Valksy?

      1. I have no bloody idea. Perhaps we should be asking gay men (since I’m female and, although aware and conscientious, have a very low risk vector) WHY they insist on ignoring information that has been in public consciousness for a long time.

        Are there really, truly and honestly gay men out there who have no idea what HIV is, what the risk is, and how they can reduce that risk? Because I don’t believe that for one single moment. You would really have to be living in an echo chamber if your own creation to have never been exposed to that information.

        Sticking heads in the sand is not working. It’s not. Telling people “use a condom” does not seem to be working and the next step has to be finding out why that is and tackling it.

        1. Spanner1960 5 Dec 2012, 11:29am

          I am totally with you on this.
          When the epidemic hit in the early 80’s people I knew died, along with many others simply because they didn’t know what was causing it. Now everyone does, so apart from the occasional accident like a split condom, or being raped etc, 99% of people that contract HIV have brought it upon themselves.

          Advertising is going to make no difference whatsoever.

          1. Are you guys for real?

            There is an entire generation of gay men today who are not clued up about HIV like we were 20 years ago because there have been no honest or graphic HIV campaigns or awareness initiatives designed to educate them about why HIV should be avoided at all costs and above and beyond all other STIs.

            Valksy, therefore but the grace of God may go you being female and a child of the 1980s.

            But what extreme selfishness and heartlessness to demand that we deprive the newest generation of sexually naive and therefore vulnerable young gay men the same level of education and awareness initiatives you once took for granted.


          2. I can’t believe I’m reading this!

            There’s an entire generation of gay men today who are not clued up about HIV like we were 20 years ago because there have been no honest or graphic HIV campaigns or awareness initiatives designed to educate them about why HIV should be avoided at all costs and above and beyond all other STIs.

            Valksy, therefore but the grace of God may go you being female and a child of the 1980s.

            What wanton selfishness and heartlessness to demand that we deprive the newest generation of sexually naive and therefore vulnerable young gay men the same level of education and awareness initiatives you once took for granted.


          3. I have a young female friend who’s a nurse in a Sexual Health Clinic and she often tells me that when she’s out with her mates round the city centre on Friday or Saturday night, she’s shocked at what she sees going on amongst young heteros – in terms of their behaviour showing scant awareness of or regard for “safe sex”.

        2. The information IS OUT THERE. Even today, with any degree of connection with the LGBT “community” we are constantly and persistently bloody bombarded with it.

          Get your head out of the sand and ask why people are ignoring or disregarding or not seeming to bloody care. When I was growing up, under S28, no one could have said a word and the papers were still calling it the gay plague.

          That is NOT bloody true now. It is openly talked about. It is taught in schools. It is a bloody constant in LGBT consciousness and yet they STILL won’t bloody listen. Why?

        3. The “why” is about personal perception of risk, the feeling that “it won’t happen to me” or the myths that are continually perpetuated about HIV.

          We need open & honest conversations about HIV & to accept that as people we make mistakes, accidents happen & that many are not in the right head-space to cope with healthy sexual relationships.

          We are talking about the irrational behaviours that we all are prone to from time to time. It is a very foolish individual who thinks they have never taken a risk with their sexual health – the risk spectrum is as individual as we are.

          Unless you live in a complete vacuum there is risk around us every day, sadly some of those risks have greater consequences than others as is the case with HIV or possibly in the future treatment resistant gonorrhoea. Sitting on a big pedestal will offer no protection, it just feeds stigma & fear I’m afraid!

    2. factandfigures 4 Dec 2012, 6:46pm

      In 2008, an estimated US$15.6 billion was spent on HIV compared to US$300 million in 1996. From 2009, total global funding for HIV and, save your money!

    3. Awareness is still an issue because unless you are a targeted group, the amount of education in general circulation is very poor.

      1. in other words unless your gay, you are not targeted with all these campaigns and remain completely oblivious to it all. The attitude needs to change, but it can only happen when those that are in charge of the bodies who raise awareness realise what they are doing and become more inclusive.

      2. Nonsense. How much of an utter mouth-breathing moron do you have to be to not know what HIV is and how to reduce your risk?

        And you know, people can vote down my comment. Go ahead. How is that sticking your bloody head in the sand working for you? There are other issues in play here. The message IS THERE, why is it being ignored.

        1. Alex Sparrowhawk 5 Dec 2012, 11:04am

          I’m 27, gay and degree educated. At university I was even LGBT Officer on the SU and ran campaigns regarding safe sex.

          I am HIV positive and have been living with the virus for three years.

          Like millions of adults around the world I indulge in sexual relationships. One of these has led to me contracting the virus. Should I have been more careful? Yes. Should I blame myself? No! I WAS UNLUCKY. I am certainly not an “utter mouth-breathing moron”.

          1. So you knew what it was, you knew there was a risk, you knew how to reduce the risk and you decided to ignore that information?

            Why? Tell me why and let’s get to the core of this bloody issue since you are adamant in saying that you knew better and did it anyway, tell us why you felt that the risk was worth taking? Because you ABSOLUTELY AND DISTINCTLY PROVE MY BLOODY POINT that awareness is bunk if people choose – as you did – to bloody ignore it. What awareness would have bloody worked on you?

          2. I will ask again – in case my point was not clear – if you took the deliberate choice to take a risk (rather than accidental exposure) then how much money spent on “Awareness” might have got the message through?

          3. Alex Sparrowhawk 5 Dec 2012, 6:28pm

            Whilst some people are having sex with multiple partners and actively looking for unsafe sex that’s not the case for everyone, and it wasn’t for me. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to start something without thinking about the consequences, this isn’t something that only gay men are guilty of, it’s everyone. You can’t tell me that there are people out there who wear protection each and every time they have sex with anyone. People are human, they make mistakes. It doesn’t mean awareness is a waste of time.

            You seem to also be forgetting Valksy that gay men and women of my generation grew up with Section 28 which meant there was absolutely no sex and relationship education aimed at LGBT youth and everything is focused on the family.

          4. And also – I remember the tomb stone ads and the leaflet campaigns and the protestations that it was doomsaying rather than informative and not helpful.

            So the question is – will scaremongering work this time? Do we have to scream – wrap your junk or it might kill you? How loud? How loud do we have to go over that heat of the moment to be heard.

            You had awareness. It still wasn’t enough. So please, tell me because I don’t understand, what would have been? What would have changed your mind in that moment?

          5. Fine. Vote me down. Stick your heads in the sand and sob that you can’t possibly help yourself and can only think with your d!ck. Until you explore WHY, address it and deal with it, it won’t stop and there isn’t enough money on the b@stard planet to fix it.

            But personally, I step out. Control your d!ck or risk your life. If that isn’t clear enough then what will be? Is there enough money on the planet to create AWARENESS to override that?

          6. Alex Sparrowhawk 5 Dec 2012, 7:18pm

            “Stick your heads in the sand and sob that you can’t possibly help yourself and can only think with your d!ck.”

            I’m not sticking my head in the sand, I work 9-5 and when I’m not doing that or spending time with friends and family, I fight stigma, fear and ignorance that people like YOU have towards HIV. I stand out and stand up as a HIV positive person so that other people realise you can live a normal life with the virus but also to help to prevent further transmission by educating people about how I got the virus and what the risks are.

            So I think you’ll find I am not wallowing in self pity, and not only can I help myself, but I’m helping others as well.

          7. Generic “You”. Alex.

            And the question still stands – What do you think would have counted as sufficient awareness to have made you act differently? Was it even possible? This whole thread has been about awareness. What is legitimate awareness? Do you know?

            And in terms of someone living with it – do you think a return to the tombstones ads is a workable solution (I recall – being older than you – outrage at those adverts, at how unhelpful they were and how scaremongering was not an appropriate tactic).

            I admit, it exasperates me and I lose my temper that – year in and year out – we are still having these same conversations and nothing seems to be changing. Indeed, in some instances the rate is going up. Whatever tactics have been used are not working – it is time to discover why that is, rather than just throwing more money at them.

          8. Generic “you” have no answers to these questions?

            We will still be having this self same conversation in twenty years if generic you don’t look at yourselves as both individuals and as a community and talk about what is really going wrong.

            If it boils down to “my d1ck made me do it” then say so – and start from there to think about what you can do to orchestrate change. Because “I didn’t know” is nonsense and “I didn’t know” won’t lead to change and “I didn’t know” isn’t bloody working.

            My last comment – wasted far too much time on this today. But consider this – perhaps I can look at this objectively in a way that you cannot or will not. I suspect the latter.

        2. What a nasty piece of work you give every impression of being, Valksy.

          1. Like I give a damn.

          2. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 6:47pm

            Then kindly do us all a favour and f@!k off to a thread that covers something you might actually know something about.

            Oh, and take your rabid mouth with you.

          3. No, dearie, like I give a damn what YOU say.

            This is a relevant subject – I wish it wasn’t part of the cultural zeitgeist for LGBT people in the UK, but it is. I would gladly see this disastrous issue fully under control, but so long as there is a refusal to fully, comprehensively and fearlessly explore issues, it will never happen.

            And I am bloody exasperated by the fact that the frank conversations just aren’t happening.

          4. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 7:58pm

            So pray do tell, Valksy, you have direct experience of being on the receiving end of a penis when a condom has broken?

            You have navigated your way around the endless confusing and mixed messages in HIV campaigns of recent years that have taught gullible gay teens that it’s ok to bareback so long as you pull out like Jeff Stryker?

            You have strictly adhered to a nauseating regimen of antiviral pill popping, remembering to take your pills at certain times and suffering their uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating side effects?

            WELL HAVE YOU?!!!

            You may prefer throwing beer bottles at us, but until you reincarnate as a gay man and discover for yourself how much tougher it is for us boyz than you gurlz who have it so much easier by comparison, I suggest you take up cross-stitching and just calm down (dear).

          5. We are NOT talking about a condom breaking. There is no such thing as “safe” sex without another person, only safer sex. We all know that and that is not what we are talking about here and you know it, so spare me.

            We are talking about awareness. And if people are getting their safer sex advice from a porn star when there is a constant deluge of legitimate information, if you would engage your brain and USE it then there isn’t enough money to give them awareness. And there is no bloody “mixed message”. But by all means – give me some examples of legitimately produced messages of the type this THT thread is about? Things that are not gossiped or garnered from a bloody porn star.

            I would like the LGBT “community” to not still be having this same conversation in another twenty years. And that is just not going to happen until people in general – those at most risk – talk about it. Why is it that a decades old message of safer sex is overwritten by porn stars?

      3. Spanner1960 5 Dec 2012, 11:32am

        The targeted groups are, like IV drugs users and most of all gay men.
        Pick up ANY gay magazine and there will always be something in there about safer sex. Sex is part and parcel of what being gay is about, and the subject of HIV really cannot be avoided when there is any mention of sex.

        1. With all due respect Spanner you aren’t getting the point.

          Yes there is safer sex information, but it is the type of information and the lack of effective information that serves as a deterrent that is lacking.

          If you study the information out there in some depth you will see that much of it actually serves to incentivise the very behaviours the material should be discouraging, and there has been zero truth spoken about the potentially serious consequences of HIV infection for many years.

          1. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 2:37pm

            I am especially surprised that you are not aware of this as you are old enough to remember how high profile HIV was in the 1980s and how consistently truthful and honest information was disseminated.

            As a commentator below astutely points out, today’s 16 year olds are living in an entirely different era in which those who have cornered the HIV prevention budget have no will or desire to keep them properly and consistently informed.

  2. Paul in Brighton 4 Dec 2012, 2:17pm

    Releasing figures like these to The Argus Newspaper will only inflame homophobia in Brighton & Hove and I predict as a result of Sir Nick’s comments to the local rag that some poor gay man is in for a kicking over the coming days.

    I don’t see how these sort of statements are in any way helpful.

    Might as well just say the Gay Plague is back and have done with it.

  3. Catherine 4 Dec 2012, 2:39pm

    I hate to tell Sir Nick but people today are as complacent as they have ever been. The general public don’t need to be shocked, what’s needed is ongoing education about safe sex. What 16 year old was around in the 80’s?

    1. I absolutely agree, and if he hasn’t got the money to do it, I suggest he start earning his fat salary and does something about getting it

    2. I agree. For every one-page warning in a specialist mag, there are thousands and thousands of pages (printed and on the Internet) and videos and songs bombarding young people with the message: BE sexual, and hunt out sex, you’re a saddo if you’re not having passionate sexual relationships, you’re a saddo if you’re not going to this club and that, getting drunk, taking drugs, and having a “good time”. This is why HIV-prevention campaigns needs to dramatically up their game.

  4. To begin with Partridge is protecting his salary and his co chairman Wards salary –
    – For a Decade THT campaigns in the gay press have been ineffectual at best – Bus routes – mind the cap – it means nothing, soft sell with a tiny S

    Show the community and the generation that missed out on the ‘tomb stone’ scare campaign – they have been told so often that HIV is ok, treatable, no longer a death sentence – which it is –
    So no -one worries enough – and the Hetro majority have been told so many times that HIV still Mostly affects Gays and Blacks that they just don’t believe they will be infected –

    THT is spending more energy saving salaries for their department heads and executives that the education and information of the nation as a whole has failed – miserably.

    1. Not just the Partridge and Ward salaries. There’s a whole floor of people that work in their Kings Cross offices that are on six figure salaries, which is where the majority of donations made to THT are spent. They do nothing to support people living with HIV, they are just feathering their own nests.

      In addition as a nominally UK wide operation there is no need to pay the inflated salaries paid to people who work in London, in their finance, HR etc departments, which could be relocated in cheaper parts of the UK.

      Of course there isn’t money for a TV campaign, it goes on all these people. It’s time that the HIV movement went back to grass roots. Kick out these pigs with their snouts in the HIV trough and get the money where it’s needed

    2. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 6:55pm

      What about the THT relic Lisa Power, DJ, another one on the gravy THTrain who presumably just shows up each day to collect her £2000+ a week salary, pay into her gold-plated pension fund and, in a good week, is whisked off to some exotic location care off Glaxo for an HIV NGO’s knees-up.

      It would be funny if it wasn’t true…

  5. Their Best Frontline service – THTDirect – is STILL the only effective, personalised way to educate – call by call – person by person! and thanks to incompetent management has lost it’s DoH funding and is now run office hours only by 3 staff and very few volunteers.

    1. Do you think the bid for the National sexual health helpline would have succeeded if THT had worked alone on the bid? I guess what I am saying is was the consortium bid ad a disadvantage, or in your view was it all down a failure to get the cost / service structure right?

  6. Jock S. Trap 4 Dec 2012, 2:54pm

    Never get this argument really.

    I mean the price of getting the HIV message through to save lives via high-profile ads… with the knowledge that it will make sure the message gets through… compared to the price of treating, possibly more people, without.

    Surely the ads would be cheaper… also should be part government funded too mind!!

  7. This is hugely disappointing – THT should be lobbying the Government to invest in HIV & sexual health on a National scale!

    THT should be working with NAT to put pressure on the Government to come up with an England wide strategy for HIV, particularly in the wake of the changes that are happening within the NHS.

    I have to say that these comments suggest that Nick Partridge is out of touch & it irks me to say this but perhaps now is a good time for a change at the top of THT. We need a charity figurehead that is going to champion the need for greater HIV awareness…….what was he thinking???

    There are many commentators on PN that will be rubbing their hands in glee, but I would caution to be careful what you wish for! The changes that will see Local Authorities be responsible for the prevention budgets will result in a post code lottery for prevention services & spending. As it is there are still many issues that need to be ironed out before April 2013.

    Truly disappointed!!!

    1. @W6 investing in who and where? If the current status quo is not working?

    2. Samuel B. 4 Dec 2012, 8:17pm

      Not rubbing my hands in glee at all:- many have long felt that Sir Nick has been out of touch with the Old Compton Street-level consensus and gave up the fight against the spread of HIV long ago in favour of promoting the meds and bolstering HIV services.

      THT’s woeful press campaigns have long been absent an effective and impactful deterrent factor:- instead all of THT’s various STI/safer sex ads are interchangeable with one another with none pointing out WHAT sets HIV head and shoulders above the rest and is to be avoided at all costs.

      An entire generation of gay men betrayed by woeful HIV education in the schools, betrayed all over again by those funded to educate them about the extreme risks involved in acquiring HIV.

      Truth has never been a part of the HIV sector’s equation:- it’s their stubborn resistance to producing truthful campaigns that’s cost many of us so dearly.

      Partridge has abjectly failed and should, finally, do the homourable thing and fall on his sword.

    3. Well said, W6! I applaud your saying that THT should be lobbying the Government to take a much greater interest in HIV prevention campaigns that are effective.

      1. factsandfigures 5 Dec 2012, 2:35pm

        What we have include into this discussion is the ASGrant, I refer for use to support people with HIV. With a real increase in cash terms, yet will see a decrease given the increase numbers that it meant to support/serve.

      2. I’m not sure my idea of a prevention campaign would be yours Eddy, so I wouldn’t get too excited. We need to move away from prevention campaigns & provide education for all, that encourages individuals to look after their sexual health rather than rely on sound byte strap lines or sexual health messages.

        There is a huge under utilised resource available, but this resource will remain largely untapped until some of the attitudes we see in this very thread change towards HIV & those living with it.

        PLWHIV are the best placed in my view to help reduce new infections. Nine of use wanted HIV but we do know a thing or 2 about the why’s & wherefore s, yet so often the “negative” community are untrusting of us & suspicious, often labelling us as reckless & stupid.

        We are none of these things, certainly not victims or in need of hollow sympathy. Sadly many +ve people cannot be open about their status & as we see here who can blame them! We are all missing out this resource!

  8. Sir Nick, ask the pharmacutical companies then, with £300million pa being spent in the UK alone on ARV treatment, the money is going somewhere.

    1. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 7:01pm

      Kevin, you are some way out.

      Try multiplying £300 million by three and you will be more or less spot on with regard to the annual HIV drugs spend.

      As I say, it’s so easy to work out who the THT serve first and foremost: as ever just follow the money…

      1. Samuel hi,

        We know that London spend around £247million of which is £160m is ARV, £69m Infrustruce, £7m Inpatients, £11m other treatments (I dont have the FOI to hand) so is from memory. Given that 50% reside in London, the HPA suggest around £484million. Other costs like the ASG and Capital Grant of £30million per year. or

        1. £158.6m ARV
          £15.6m non arv and diagnostics
          £60.8m Infurstructure
          £6.5m Inpatients
          £5m CQUIN = £246.5million refer #20

          1. A saving of around £9million is to be reduced from these figures by the NHS through savings and supply contracts

    2. Added to which, THT uses donated cash to undercut NHS contracts rather than making profits on NHS contacts to support HIV related charitable activities. Your donations to THT are effectively subsidising the taxpayer with no real benefit to people with, or at risk of contracting, HIV.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 4 Dec 2012, 3:50pm

    Why doesn’t the government cut off financial aid to oppressive regimes such as Uganda, Nigeria, Jamaica and other backward countries and spend the money on our own.

    1. “Britain is owed more than £2billion by governments around the world that have defaulted on their debts.”

      1. Don’t worry, a new heir to the throne is already making headlines. This new royal addition is sure to keep the plebs right in their place for the good of the empire, and you’ll get your deserved crumbles.

    2. factandfigures 4 Dec 2012, 6:51pm

      Annual budget, £6.7 billion (current) & £1.4 billion (capital) in 2011-12 … The Department for International Development (DFID) is a United Kingdom government.

      The government has ring-fenced the UK aid budget and committed to increasing
      expenditure to meet the international target of providing 0.7% of gross national
      income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA) from 2013. In 2010, the UK
      government spent £8.45 billion on international development, equating to £321 for
      each household, and this is planned to rise to £12 billion in 2013.

      refer or

  10. Education about all STI should be a ongoing concern – How do we spend treating all these infection not to mention the effect it may have on someone.


    1. @Lee, there money to be had in us, free market economy

  11. Samuel B. 4 Dec 2012, 7:30pm

    THT sits on a portfolio of multi-million pound prime central London properties and has cash dowries bequeathed by estates to be used in the event the THT ran out of cash to fufill its public remit to reduce HIV infection rates.

    The highest rate of HIV infection among gay men has just been recorded, and the annual UK HIV drugs bill now stands at £854 million.

    Am I alone in spotting the sleight of hand here, and Sir Nick’s as ever loyal singing up of “excellent drugs” over HIV campaigns that once made an impact and contained genuine deterrent factors to risky sex?

    As a fully-knighted member of the British “elite”, one must ask how “Sir” Nick acquired his gongs, and I am certain it was not for services to reducing HIV rates.

    THT’s wilfull failures have only created a £1 billion bonanza for the drugs manufacturers while Sir Nick himself pockets a 6-figure annual salary.

    So arise, Sir Nick, for services to Glaxo, Pfizer et al.

    1. factsandfigures 4 Dec 2012, 8:13pm

      If concerned, please raise this matter with or

      As to the £854million Samuel, please provide supportive links and information to support your case.

      1. Samuel B. 4 Dec 2012, 8:37pm

        Happy to oblige you factsandfigures.

        This from the Halve It campaign backed, incidentally, by the THT:-

        It’s press literature also states that “preventing just one new HIV infection could save as much as £360,000 in direct lifetime healthcare costs” (ARE YOU LISTENING AT THE BACK, SIR NICK?!?), and that “had all of the new infections diagnosed in 2008 been prevented there would have been a saving of £1.1 billion in healthcare costs alone.”

        These are truly scary figures, but the downside is that this new campaign has a distinct whiff of being a lack-of-funding sob story to the government on the part of a select group of NGOs in a desperate effort to prise more funding from the government for the likes of THT, NAT et al to fritter away on lavish exec salaries and red tape, with little or none of it being used to finally get to grips with tackling the epidemic spread of HIV.

        Hot air, in other words, as we have now become accustomed to…

        1. So you do not support the Halve It initiative Samuel?

          1. No I don’t, W6, because Halve It comprises by and large the same status quo that got us into this fine mess in the first place!

            Billions have been poured into A!D$ research on the back of such sob campaigns that cynically highlight the ghastly facts and stats which, of course, are largely a result of the wilful failures and intransigence of the very same people behind the fine words!

            Sure enough as soon as they get their grubby hands on the cash it is quickly Hoovered up and squandered on salaries and fripperies with very little to show by way of getting a real grip on runaway HIV rates.

            There is a rather self-explanatory saying, W6:-

            “A problem cannot be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it in the first place.”

            THT needs a massive image make-over and new broom to sweep clean before many will ever trust it again to have the will to genuinely start fighting HIV over and above making vast profits for its drug-making donors.

    2. There are some very good people that work for THT both in a paid / unpaid capacities. I believe these individuals are trying to change the organisation,it is a slow process. I have said before the Chief Executive is but one person, so I do think it is rather unfair to chastise the whole organisation as you so often do Samuel.

      All I would say is be careful what you wish for, because when resources are tight the private contractors like Serco & Virgin Healthcare will come sniffing around & I am sure will give cash strapped Local Authorities a very good deal to get a foot in the door. THT is by no means perfect but I do wonder what the alternative is right now…..

      Whilst I appreciate you have been critical of 56 Dean Street I would rather the clinical services that THT provide go to NHS service providers who would do well to use the model the C&W NHS Foundation Trust has built Dean St on. This to me is the way forward, but who knows what will happen with the new Local Auth. structures

      1. Samuel B. 4 Dec 2012, 8:46pm

        W6, the Chief Exec is not just one person within the vast edifice that is the THT:- he is the supreme boss, the head honcho on whose head all decisions are final.

        It is Partridge’s job to approval anything and everything that goes out under the THT banner, and in theory he is accountable and responsible for all if its mistakes and failures.

        Only in this insane world of ours public sector careerists never admit their mistakes, are rewarded for their failures and never know when is the right time to leave, except of course when a handsome payoff and a simultaneously revolving door up the greasy poll into a similar role but with an even bigger salary beckons.

        But then you should know all about this “quasi-Masonic nexus” that exists within the public sector since its existence was splashed all over the Guardian web site a couple of weeks back!

        1. So what do we do about this particular situation you describe? Are there not structures that gay men should be lobbying to make improvements? Not a trick question, a very genuine question!

          1. W6, I would dearly love to respond to your question openly and honestly but seems PN is tightening its grip on censoring the truth around these parts and has extended its “kill” filter over a manner of words and references.

            Isn’t this the sort of low-level shenanigans they used to get up to in Stalin’s Russia?

            It seems PN is revealing its true colours – and political allegiances – by the day…

          2. I have lost several comments on various threads – there is obviously a system glitch! Hope they sort it out soon.

          3. Wish it really was a simple “system glitch”, W6.

            Spanner, Staircase…many have been commenting about numerous posts not appearing and identifying words that are now off-limit/censored care-off PN.

            I am more inclined to call it a sinister totalitarian step into the darkness for this once exemplary and upstanding news resource.

            Wither Jessie Green…

          4. In case it helps . . . I have found that when my Comments don’t appear, then right-clicking and choosing “reload” often brings them up. If that doesn’t work, then there’s something that PN deems “offensive” in the Comment. Usually some controversial word, hence one needs to type, for example, sh!t & A!DS! Can’t believe I just recommended we do that! :-)

    3. factsandfigures 5 Dec 2012, 10:37am

      An HIV vaccine that protects vaccinated individuals from HIV infection is the goal of many HIV research programmes. Currently, there is ….. A July 2012 report of the HIV Vaccines & Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group estimates that $845 million was spent on vaccine research in 2011. ….. United Kingdom …

  12. The Tories’ race to the bottom is working its marvels.

  13. Looks like the comments are not being posted up again tonight.

    Kevin in response to your question I believe it is incumbent on the Department of Health to commission a National TV advertising campaign backup with suitable online & written support material – I do not see this as something the HIV charities should be involved in.

    The DoH should manage such a commissioned awareness campaign themselves, with the appropriate input from the various stakeholders.

    Obviously any such campaign would need to dovetail into the targeted prevention campaigns that HIV Prevention England will be running over the next 3 yrs.

    1. There’s sense in your idea. I would add: the Department of Health should pull back funding being given to THT, and use that funding for widespread and effective HIV-prevention campaigns that are beamed at ALL, regardless of sexuality and regardless of age.

      1. We still need targeted resources, so I would not agree that the HIV Prevention England contract should be terminated.

  14. Time to put the BBC to good use then.
    Make a low budget add campaign that runs in between every programme on every TV channel. Do the same for radio, shove it on iplayer for good measure and bish, bash, boom an ad campaign that reaches millions of people.

    1. …and are softened up and wrapped up in even more cotton wool than even the THT can manage?

      BBC follows a rigidly dishonest black is white, up is down “Pee Cee” – sorry folks, the PN Stasi have even censored combinations of initials!! – agenda:- HIV campaigns need to move in the opposite direct, back towards a truthful approach.

      1. Don’t muddle the water Samuel, instead just show us your love for black and up. I’m sure people will understand your deepest urges.

  15. In other words IGNORE everyone else who might get HIV and keep people under the misconception that only gays get HIV meaning that predominantly gays get tested and therefore dominate the statistics.

  16. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2012, 9:53am

    Note how THT’s chief executive is using “constrained pubic finances” as a convenient excuse not to push for a high-profile TV campaign.

    So why was he not advocating nor indeed pushing for such a campaign when times were better instead of sanctioning HIV ad campaigns that promoted condomless sex, decreed that THT would not speak out against bareback porn and was busy rubber-stamping saunas and underground sex venues?

    Mr. P, you are a hypocrite and a public liability, go now and kindly shut the door on your way out.

    1. Spanner1960 5 Dec 2012, 11:34am

      You obviously have no concept of how much a TV ad costs, let alone a high profile one. It would be simply throwing money into the wind. Money at the moment we don’t happen to have.

  17. Alex Sparrowhawk 5 Dec 2012, 10:59am

    The TV campaign worked in the 80s because it reached a large audience, there are other avenues in media these days and HIV charities and organisations need to work with people living with HIV to use their VOICES to raise awareness. There’s an obvious need to target younger adults more-so than other demographics so the campaign should target places like Facebook and Twitter rather than an advert that’s probably going to get fast-forward on a bloomin’ Sky Plus box!!

  18. I don’t know if you lot are the stupidest bunch of muppets on earth or are in denial. BAREBACK PORN anyone? As long as that is seen as the norm men will go without condoms

    1. On the nail, James!

    2. Spanner1960 6 Dec 2012, 2:58am

      Well certainly gay porn seems to have got it’s act together from what I’ve seen, and what BB stuff you do see is usually pretty old material. I think the straight producers are starting to come around to it, and governments are trying to enforce it in some countries.

  19. GulliverUK 5 Dec 2012, 4:00pm

    The government should be paying for national TV adverts – IF it’s serious, which considering David Cameron said more must be done, you would think they were.

    A national campaign, to dispell myths, which apparently many people still have !!!!! (yes Valksy, after all this time) should be separate from the local and regional work which should be a joint operation between the NHS, regional health authorities and expert groups like THT.

    The cost of not stopping the spread is financially astronomical, and personally damaging, although thankfully many people manage the virus and are able to lead relatively normal lives than in previous times.

  20. I find it strange that Nick is talking about a campaign such as the “tombstone” one from the 80’s. There is no desire for it and hasn’t been when I have raised the issue. Stigma Index did some work on such advertising and that proved (?)scare messages don’t work though I dispute this given many remember the 1980’s advertising. Also scaring people runs contrary to the sector wide efforts to encourage testing more broadly. I would argue there is room for many different Public Health messages aimed at differing audiences. I think the point here is that with Public Health and thus HIV awareness spending being devolved down to local councils the money, not being ring-fenced, will simply not be spent at all.

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