It is estimated that there are more than 5,900 people across Greater Manchester who are living with HIV - a percentage of the regional population which is higher than the national average and which, in some boroughs, is more than double the national rate. In addition, an estimated 745 people in Greater Manchester are unaware that they are living with HIV.
The 'HIV: Let's sort this together' campaign created by The PaSH Partnership (BHA for Equality, George House Trust and LGBT Foundation) is a significant step towards ending all new transmissions of HIV.
The peer-led campaign, which focuses on a 'Test, Manage, Prevent' message, encourages people to take regular HIV tests, and manage the possible risks of HIV transmission during sex. For people living with HIV, the campaign highlights the fact that effective treatment means that HIV cannot be passed on through sex, a fact now universally recognised as 'U=U'.
A targeted media plan was implemented at key times, and featured Greater Manchester residents and influencers. This mixture of voices represented the target audiences and included both real life stories and advice from health professionals.
The campaign has started positive conversations around HIV testing with over 6,200 HIV tests being ordered. The creation of a specific Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week, which ran 16-22 November 2020, further encouraged people to take advantage of COVID-19 restrictions and to test for HIV at home. Tests, information and support are all available via the campaign website SortHIV.org.uk