Author: M. G.
In July I wrote about the worrying increase of new HIV infections in London - according to the National Aids Trust there are 5 new positive diagnoses in the gay community per day. London Councils also reported that the diagnoses of the virus rose by 8% between 2011 and 2012. This increase can also be the effect of a rise in the number of people getting HIV tests and this was the only positive aspect of the story, until now.
In fact, today we have another good news: the Councils decided to contrast this critical situation providing for a three year long HIV prevention program, investing around 3.4 million pounds - more than 4 million euro. This program will give a huge support to the gay men and the African community of the city, with condom distribution activities and outreach work.
To address HIV prevention efforts in the capital of England will mean an improvement for the whole country since, according to London Councils data, 8 of the 20 boroughs in England with the highest diagnosed prevalence rate of HIV are in London.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, London regional director for Public Health England, said "Men who have sex with men and black African heterosexuals remain the groups with the highest HIV prevalence in London and it is important that there are cohesive and collaborative services across the city to support them." These activities will be tailored to the needs of London's communities, so that they can be linked to other useful services. We are talking about big money and it's still a moment of economic crisis, so one of the main worries is to find ways to make this project as effective as possible. This is why the Councils rightly believe that the only way to have a big impact is to work on a London-wide basis. If you want to fight the disease in the community, you have to know this community and connect with what is already working in order to enhance their power and have more results.
Let's see what's going to happen in London in the next years, our fingers are crossed!