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London: Gay men’s health charity GMFA faces uncertain future after funding cut

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  1. Vernal Scott 11 Apr 2013, 11:17am

    Do we know what the official reason for the cuts, and what services will be in place if GMFA goes to the wall?

    It was disastrous when Big-Up was chopped – even though GMFA said little about it at the time – but this latest news doesn’t help either.

    1. factsandfigures 11 Apr 2013, 3:50pm

      Point 5 onwards from London Councils March 2013 minutes of meeting may further inform on what London Councils approach will be, I refer http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/London%20Councils/Item2L12213minutes.pdf

      Leaders’ Committee agreed:
      • the creation of a London Health Board as described and to note that the London local government contribution to funding the support arrangements for 2013/14, estimated at £112,500, would be drawn directly from London Councils resources as agreed by Leaders’ Committee on 11 December 2012
      • to commission London Councils’ officers to work with local authority Directors of Public Health to develop and take forward a programme of work to develop a clear needs assessment to support future local commissioning of HIV prevention services from 2014/15 and to enable a decision to be brought back to Leaders during 2013 on whether to undertake joint or pan-London contracting of HIV prevention services from 2014/15

  2. greenie1982 11 Apr 2013, 11:21am

    Which source were the cuts coming from? GLA, Mayor, Councils? Local authorities have public health responsibilities – what is GMFA doing about lobbying those who are making sexual health a priority?

    1. facts and figures 11 Apr 2013, 2:52pm

      Of use, http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/news/current/pressdetail.htm?pk=1576

      I should include that the AIDS support grant was increase around 23% and 28% as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement for the forthcoming 2 years. I refer http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1314/settle.htm for further information.

      Also included is https://www.gov.uk/government/news/8-million-invested-to-tackle-hiv-and-improve-sexual-health

      and of further use and interest http://www.aidsmap.com/UK-health-services/cat/1680/page/1404239/?Type=1722&paging=4|10

  3. The cuts are from the HIV prevention program that was funded by the old London PCT’s ( known as the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme).
    This work / responsibility has been transferred to Local Authorities.

    Recently the London Councils Group have agreed to continue some of the projects within the Pan London program, but have removed funding that they no longer think is required.

    The remaining Pan London contracts are expected to roll over for another 6 months to a year, whilst the London Councils Group decide how HIV prevention should be commissioned.

    NAM (Aidsmap) have also lost funding to provide free information booklets to people living with HIV in the Capital.

    Continued funding is going to PACE, GMI Partnership & THT for group-work activities, which only reach a relatively small number of gay men.

    I would urge those that are interested to write to their local Director of Public Health highlighting the importance of funding all future HIV prevention initiatives.

  4. Whilst I abhor the cuts and I’m sure it’s a false economy, £1,2m shouldn’t be too hard to find from the gay male population and commercial organisations that do so well from the pink pound. And a closer connection between funding and delivery could be bery beneficial.

    In the past, when we were more heavily dependent on ourselves for funding HIV services, the message seemed to have more effect.

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 11 Apr 2013, 1:19pm

    Possibly looking at the job tasked to GMFA and THT and the figures for new infections, someone has finally woken up to the fact that these people are not providing good value for money.

    They both seem to have lost their way a bit (quite a bit) and really need to find it again, rather than continue on a path than has not done very much to stem the continuing increases in infections.

    1. ChrisMorley 11 Apr 2013, 6:15pm

      There aren’t “continuing increases in infections” as you claim.

      “A paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by scientists from the UK’s Medical Research Council and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has calculated that the number of gay men in England and Wales who become infected with HIV each year remained unchanged between 2001 and 2010.” http://www.aidsmap.com/HIV-incidence-in-gay-men-unchanged-in-England-and-Wales-despite-more-testing/page/2567678/

      It’s a common mistake to think that because the total number of gay and bi men living with HIV has gone up, that means more are getting infected each year. The numbers getting infected each year has stayed much the same but inevitably the total goes up because people aren’t dying at the same rate.

      I’d say that a fair assessment is that the rate of HIV infections among gay and bi men in Britain is in line with the rate in most other western European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.

      1. factsandfigures 11 Apr 2013, 6:48pm

        I refer to HPA publication http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2012PressReleases/121129HPAwelcomesnationalHIVtestingweek/

        The figures are distorted as the total number of people diagnosed since 2000 is around 119,000 less deaths = 92,000. Its suggested that 25% (23,000) of this number is undiagonsed, yet it is listed that around 28,000 plus 2,891 access HIV treatment in London. (First fig is that who reside in London, the second the number of people who live outside London), therefore leaving 38,000 as ?

        For further interest, I refer http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/HIVAndSTIs/Publications/

        http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/978

        1. ChrisMorley 11 Apr 2013, 7:30pm

          I was of course responding to a claim by Sister Mary Clarence.

          Amongst all the information in these links, is there some specific fact you can point to that proves more gay and bi men in Britain are becoming infected each year, as opposed to the total infected is rising?

          1. factsandfigures 12 Apr 2013, 4:46pm

            Chris hi,

            What is in question here is the HPA and it figures, from the information I have previously seen, I quote the above, are 38,000 people accessing HIV private care? If olone just 28,000 people are accessing care, how can we truly say what the increase ratio of the no of people living with HIV truly is?

            My link was to support your claim of any increase year on year the no of PLHIV. As per my previous submission i also enclose link which will differ from the news item concern trying to balance the arguments and data that is published. The UK has one of the better recording of PLHIV, yet error’s occur.

  6. Being a gay man living with HIV, I am very grateful for the services provided by organisations such as GMFA. However, I can also see a large degree of overlap and duplication. However, the effect of these cuts can be minimised by these organisation cooperating more and rationalising their services

  7. Michael Doherty 14 Apr 2013, 5:47pm

    Glad that gravy train has hit the buffers. Now we can allow the powers that be, to invest our money in health issues impacting on the whole community.

    One or two LGBT Consultancy scams will bite the dust, but hey, shit happens and it will not impact one bit on our health and well being.

    Thanks for the facts and figures, which is valuable.

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