1 December 2020, World AIDS Day 2020: The British HIV Association (BHIVA) and ITN Productions Industry News today launch a bespoke co-production for World Aids Day 2020 and beyond.
Anchored by ITN Productions Industry News presenter Alice Beer, “Health and HIV” focuses on trailblazers in HIV healthcare and the community, featuring engaging and informative content, from raising awareness of HIV prevention methods to effective new HIV treatments, testing, transformative research and challenging stigma. HIV treatment has been highly successful in the UK in recent years. Dr Laura Waters, Chair of the British HIV Association, joins the programme to talk about life expectancy, treatment developments, testing and prevention, and also how COVID-19 has affected people living with HIV. Laura also discusses the negative impact of HIV stigma, and the need for positive messaging in any future public health campaigns. Too few people outside of the HIV sector are aware that the vast majority of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK are on effective medication which means that they cannot pass the virus on to sexual partners.
In 2019 charities the Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust and Elton John AIDS Foundation joined forces to establish England’s first ever HIV Commission, with the vision of ending new HIV transmissions and preventable HIV-related deaths in England by 2030. Three of the Commissioners speak on the programme: HIV Commission Chair, Dame Inga Beale; HIV campaigner, Mercy Shibemba and MP Steve Brine, who was Public Health Minister when the government committed to the 2030 goal.
Dame Inga discusses the Commission’s recommendations for action necessary to make this vision a reality, thus meeting Health Minister Matt Hancock’s 2030 pledge. Mercy Shibemba, who was herself diagnosed with HIV as a child, discusses the campaign for zero new HIV cases and why she decided to make her own HIV status public. With the government backing the campaign to end HIV transmissions in the next 10 years, Steve Brine MP shares what needs to be done to ensure that this target is met.
Women make up a third of HIV cases in the UK and over 50% globally, yet they are under-represented in terms of medical research, support and visibility. “Health and HIV” includes a special report on women living with HIV who reveal how their experiences have shaped their lives, and the changes they want to see for a fairer future. HIV consultant Dr Yvonne Gilleece explains the facts behind the figures.
Over 74,000 children and adolescents in Zimbabwe live with HIV. Antiretroviral medicines are life changing but treatment alone is sometimes not enough. There is a special feature on a project led by community-based organisation, AfricAid. This is run by adolescents - all of whom are living with HIV themselves – who go on to help and support other young people with an HIV diagnosis to lead happy and healthy lives.
More people living with HIV are aged over 50 than ever before. It is crucial that the health and emotional needs of an ageing population, who may also be living with many other health conditions, are understood and addressed. A special report will look at the work the Gilead Sciences team has undertaken with people living with HIV to discover why innovation in HIV care is needed for older people to ensure they live long, healthy and independent lives.
Although advances in medicine mean people living with HIV are able to lead long and healthy lives the stigma they face still persists. Former Welsh International Rugby player, Gareth Thomas, has teamed up with ViiV Healthcare to support an initiative aimed at improving levels of public understanding of HIV and thus breaking the stigma around it.
The UN’s aim of eradicating the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 will be more achievable if every patient living with HIV has the viral load in their bloodstream reduced to levels which prevent HIV transmission. A special report from Kenya will look at the work of med tech company Hologic, leader of the Global Access Initiative, which has delivered more than 2 million life-saving diagnostic tests across sub-Saharan Africa to date.
Undertaking a HIV test can be a long process, from taking a blood sample to receiving the results. Intec Products Inc have partnered with Matrix Diagnostics to offer a fast, accurate, and affordable point of care testing product, to help to prevent the spread of HIV within high-risk groups.
Dr Kaveh Manavi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Sexual Health Clinic, discusses the importance of getting HIV test results through point of care testing. James Lawson, Managing Director of Matrix, explains how testing is undertaken, the quality of the product and how this method of testing can also be used for other diseases.
Despite millions of HIV tests being carried out globally each year, a significant number of people living with HIV are unaware of their status. “Health and HIV” reports on a private and pain-free oral self-test developed by OraSure Technologies. It has proved successful in the US and Africa and will soon be available in Europe.
Dr Laura Waters, Chair of the British HIV Association commented: “The last major public health campaign about HIV was a quarter of century ago, yet the gravestones of that campaign still cast a shadow over a condition that has been transformed through effective treatments and better care. This exciting collaboration will enlighten those unaware of the progress made, hopefully challenge some of the HIV stigma still pervasive today and contribute to ensuring all people with HIV know their status by encouraging anyone at risk to test.”
Elizabeth Fisher-Robins, Head of ITN Productions Industry News said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of ‘Health and HIV’ in partnership with BHIVA. We hope the programme reminds the public and the government that both HIV, and the stigma surrounding HIV, have not gone away and that there is still a vital need to invest in essential transformative research, treatment, prevention education and so much more.”
"Health and HIV” goes live at 6pm on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2020, via BHIVA’s Twitter feed, Facebook channel and website https://www.bhiva.org/World-AIDS-Day-2020
The programme features news items, interviews and sponsored editorial profiles from the following organisations: AfricAid, BHIVA, Gilead Sciences, Hologic, Intec Products Inc, OraSure Technologies and ViiV Healthcare.
For further information, please contact Jo Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)7306 391875.
About the British HIV Association (BHIVA)
BHIVA is the leading UK association representing professionals in HIV care. Since 1995, it has been committed to providing excellent care for people living with and affected by HIV. BHIVA is a national advisory body on all aspects of HIV care and provides a national platform for HIV care issues. Its representatives contribute to international, national and local committees dealing with HIV care. In addition, it promotes undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education within HIV care. For more information visit: www.bhiva.org.
About ITN Productions Industry News
ITN Productions produces bespoke creative and commercial content for broadcasters, businesses, brands, rights holders and digital channels. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news-style programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles. For more information visit: www.itnproductions.co.uk.