Community News

Martin Fisher Foundation update

October 28, 2016

Towards Zero HIV in Brighton & Hove: the Martin Fisher Foundation working strategically with local partners.

web-600The Martin Fisher Foundation was set up in Brighton & Hove to take forward the work of Professor Martin Fisher. The Foundation’s work continues Martin’s ethos of treating people living with HIV with dignity, compassion and respect and focuses on the development of new strategies for effective HIV prevention, treatment and care.

The Foundation has been busy over the past year, working with a range of stakeholders, not only from across the city but also in partnership with national and international experts, to develop a Towards Zero HIV Prevention Strategy for the whole of Brighton & Hove. This strategic work is nearing completion with a launch of the strategy aligned to World AIDS Day 2016.

(‘Towards Zero’ Volunteers wearing martin Fisher Foundation T-Shirts with a series of HIV prevention messages at Brighton Pride on Saturday, August 6, 2016.)

The strategy explains where we are now with HIV in our city, where we want to be in the future and, most importantly, how we can take a journey together towards achieving zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related deaths and zero stigma in the resident population of Brighton & Hove.

This strategy reaches out, with goodwill, to our community to see what we can achieve together and makes a range of recommendations. It calls for action and advocacy from professional stakeholders, organisations and the public. It recognises that behaviour change will be required not only by individuals but also by organisations and society as a whole if we are to progress towards zero HIV and achieve success in our city.

Through Martin’s legacy of inspiration and innovation, as well as the connection he had with colleagues and patients, we have a unique opportunity to draw on the commitment of the local HIV community and have service users at the centre of this work.

A cornerstone of the strategy is to establish Brighton & Hove as the first city in the UK to become a Fast Track City. Cities taking part in the Fast-Track Cities Initiative commit to achieving the 90-90-90 targets by 2020. These targets are:

♦ 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status;

♦ 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment;

♦ 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.

A cornerstone of the Martin Fisher Foundation is to facilitate partnership working and the strategy provides a leadership framework that will allow local HIV and other organisations to unite in support of a shared strategic HIV prevention objective.

To ensure cohesive, local and strategic HIV prevention planning across Brighton & Hove, the strategy supports continued close working between people living with HIV and organisations providing HIV prevention and HIV peer support services, so that organisational strategies can be shared and developed to augment each other and so that opportunities for collaborative working can be identified.

Raising awareness about HIV in the local community

Since the launch in September 2015, the Foundation has engaged with the community in Brighton & Hove to raise awareness and build social understanding of the local issues with, and social ownership of, the benefits associated with HIV prevention in Brighton.

‘Towards Zero HIV’ Get Prep, pre-Pride Film and discussion event, Thursday, August 4, 2017

These have included a Towards Zero HIV: Get PrEP Pre-Pride film and discussion event, marching with Towards Zero HIV volunteers as part of the Brighton & Hove Pride Parade 2016, and then a presence at the Sexual Health and Contraception Community Stall in Preston Park, and most recently partnering with local HIV clinical and community providers to deliver a sauna-based, HIV testing kit pilot.

The Foundation is currently working with a range of stakeholders to develop an implementation of the Towards Zero HIV Prevention Strategy.

For more information about the Martin Fisher Foundation, click here: