Drop in new HIV cases among men

Data from Public Health England has shown that new diagnoses of HIV among men who have sex with men in England have fallen.

Numbers have decreased from 2,060 in 2014/15 to 1,700 in 2015/16, with an even steeper drop in London. Public Health England said increased testing, quick treatment with antiretroviral drugs and use of the preventative drug PrEP have all contributed to the trend.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said “This reduction in new diagnoses is fantastic news. This is clear proof that money invested in HIV prevention is money well spent. Not only is HIV prevention work good for individuals and public health, it’s also cost effective. Despite budgets being stretched, it’s crucial we keep this momentum going.”

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The Sussex Beacon named ‘Brighton’s Favourite HIV Charity’ at Golden Handbag Awards

The Sussex Beacon held on to its title as ‘Brighton’s favourite HIV charity’ at the ‘Golden Handbag’ awards last night. The ‘Golden Handbags’ are described as Brighton’s very own gay Oscars, with the awards recognising people and organisations within Brighton’s LGBT scene. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Hilton on Sunday, June 11th.

The Sussex Beacon was up against some tough competition, with Terrence Higgins Trust, Lunch Positive and Peer Action on the shortlist. The Sussex Beacon also won the award last year and was hoping to hold onto the title.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said “It’s been an incredibly tough year at The Sussex Beacon as funding cuts have put the charity under financial pressure. We’re delighted to receive this award again as it shows how much local support we have. It’s also fantastic for the staff and volunteers who have been working so hard during a very difficult time. The other organisations in the shortlist are doing amazing work locally too, so we’re very grateful we managed to hold on to the award for another year.”

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in September.