The Sussex Beacon is one of the HIV organisations supporting the Stop HIV Cuts Campaign which was launched on 25th February 2016. The campaign is highlighting and opposing the funding cuts that are being levied on HIV support services.
Along with nearly 30 HIV organisations we have signed a letter that has been sent to The Secretary of State for Health the Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP. The letter shares the increasing concern of the trend by local authorities across England to decommission HIV support services.
Public Heath England’s Positive Voices survey found that over a third of people with HIV accessed HIV support services over a 12month period. With over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, these support services are needed now more than ever.
However, 2015 has seen the start of a worrying trend of local authorities across England totally defunding HIV support services. In Oxfordshire, Bromley, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Slough, Bracknell Forest and Bexley, the local councils are set to discontinue these important services.
Simon Dowe CEO The Sussex Beacon says “We know only too well the effect that cuts to HIV services are having. Whilst I acknowledge the tough economic climate that we are living in, it is short sighted not to consider the long-term impact of these cuts on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV and those at risk of contracting HIV. We support people to live well with HIV through our vital specialist services. Without our services many people risk becoming unwell and ending up in hospital at a greater cost to the tax payer. Local authorities must consider the impact of these cuts on individual’s lives.”
For further information about the campaign: www.stophivcuts.org