Martin Fisher Foundation: innovation and impact

October 30, 2022

Our foundation is a partnership of clinicians, community reps and people living with HIV. This unique community-clinical team aims to ensure organisations across the city work collaboratively and support shared HIV prevention goals. Our overarching aim is to end new HIV transmissions and eliminate HIV stigma by 2030. Our first achievement was to gain HIV Fast Track City status for Brighton & Hove in 2017. This provided us with the infrastructure to accelerate the journey and better measure progress towards ZERO HIV stigma, ZERO new HIV infections and ZERO deaths from HIV. Being part of this initiative connects us with other UK Fast Track Cities and ensures all key-players are involved and working towards common goals.

Winnie Byanyima

As a consequence of being a Fast Track City we have been visited by the HIV Commission; Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of UNAIDS; and Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes and lead minister for sexual health/HIV, all of which provided opportunities to tackle stigma, improve knowledge and start conversations.

Our projects have included development of the EmERGE app, which was started by Professor Fisher in 2015. The outcome was a co-designed digital health pathway of care for people living with HIV, providing access to their own data (results, medication, appointments, messages) and reducing the need for face-to-face appointments for the ‚Äėmedically stable‚Äô – 96% would recommend to a friend.

Building on the EmERGE app, the PrEP app was co-designed for remote PrEP management providing secure access to results, appointments and medication information; allowing reminders for daily/event based therapy and communicating with clinical services. Evaluation shows high levels of acceptibility and usability.

We want to publicise the message that ‘if everyone tests for HIV, commences HIV treatment if diagnosed positive, or accesses effective HIV prevention if negative’¬†then we can end new HIV transmissions and felt a concise ‚Äėexplainer animation‚Äô video could help convey this message more widely.

Following a successful funding bid, we worked with Creative Connections Animation Studios who have a strong record of translating complex ideas into simple messages. The animation was co-produced with clinicians, HIV community workers, members of the public and people living with HIV, and is being used in healthcare education, on websites, general practice and dental information screens, and school education packages.

A city-wide strategic plan to reduce HIV stigma is underway, working at a multi-sectoral level in three work-streams: reducing stigma in healthcare, empowering people living with HIV and building resilience, developing further public awareness campaigns following the 2018 Martin Fisher Foundation Brighton & Hove Stigma campaign.

In 2019 we became the first city to have a HIV information bus which travels on every route in the city, disseminating correct information and encouraging people to test for HIV. In the last two-years we have worked with local HIV charity Lunch Positive to hold successful stakeholder events to engage the community which has helped to map our ongoing work.

For more info on the Martin Fisher Foundation, CLICK HERE