New projects for Fast Track Cardiff & Vale - aiming to end new cases of HIV by 2030
We’re delighted to report that two exciting new initiatives have been launched to help the fight against HIV transmissions and stigma in Wales.
One initiative – organised by volunteer-led coalition Fast Track Cardiff & Vale - aims to address the gap in support for people who are concerned about HIV in Wales to get actively involved. There are currently no community-led HIV services or groups or peer support groups for people living with HIV anywhere in Wales.
In response to this, the coalition is setting up a network for people and community groups who want to get involved and help with HIV prevention and support, funded initially by a two year grant from ViiV Healthcare. It also aims to support more Fast Track coalitions across Wales.
What is the HIV advocacy project?
The aim of this new community network is primarily to increase understanding of HIV and sexual health in Wales, prioritising key communities at risk. It will advocate for and create community-led prevention and testing campaigns for Wales, helping people to spread the word about PrEP, treatment as prevention and other modern HIV information.
The project is funded for two years by ViiV Healthcare and includes a dedicated worker working alongside members of the coalition’s volunteer Steering Group to create the alliance and to work with other interested parties towards achieving the national target of zero new HIV transmissions by 2030.
The project aims to create training opportunities and packages for interested Welsh organisations. It will also offer opportunities for people who have no previous experience of advocacy and activism to learn the “tools of the trade” and get involved.
The project, guided by the network members, will also create information and educational materials and events about HIV and the 2030 target and the role of Fast Track Cities. In parallel, people will be supported to express their views to their local health board and ensure the inclusion of voices of people with HIV and affected communities in the implementation of the HIV Action Plan for Wales.
Role models exhibition
The second initiative is a stigma-busting photographic exhibition showing Welsh people with HIV talking about their lives.
Fast Track Cardiff & Vale volunteers have been working hard to collect the stories of people across Wales who live with HIV. These stories and photos are being collated to create an exhibition of people living with HIV in and from Wales, which was launched in June in the Senedd alongside the draft HIV Action Plan. You can check the Fast Track Cardiff & Vale website for more information about the exhibition and how to respond to the HIV Action Plan consultation: https://fasttrackcardiff.wales/
The exhibition portraits are of people of diverse backgrounds, all living well with HIV. Positive visibility is a very important part of breaking down stigma and inclusion of people living with HIV is vital to creating good work on it. A third of the Fast Track Steering Group are people living with HIV and the coalition tries to embody the principle of “nothing about us without us”. Downloadable versions of the exhibition and contact details to exhibit the panels are available here: https://fasttrackcardiff.wales/photo-exhibition-21st-century-hiv/
The advocacy network is open to anyone who has a passion for improving HIV testing and prevention and tackling stigma in Wales. People of any level of experience are being encouraged to join the network. It will be a learning opportunity for everyone involved, as we shape the future landscape of HIV prevention and support in Wales and aim to reach the target of zero new HIV cases by 2030. If you’d like a chat about joining the network, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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