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UK HIV Prevention Projects Awarded £600,000

November 03, 2016

A series of 13 projects aiming to prevent the spread of HIV in the UK have been awarded a total of £600,000 from the government.

Public Health England (PHE) has announced the latest recipients of financial support from the National HIV Prevention Innovation Fund, which aims to halt the spread of the life-threatening illness through various new initiatives that reach further than the standard following of sharps safety guidelines and blood contamination prevention efforts.

The latest round of projects to benefit from the funding pot include the London-based charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, Addaction - which covers the St Helens and Liverpool area - and Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support. Southampton's Positive Action, SignHealth in Wandsworth and the National Prison Radio network also feature on the list.

PHE has divided the funding between a diverse range of projects that target HIV prevention among very different groups of people, from drug addicts to prisoners and from people living with hearing loss to healthcare workers at the forefront of preventing the potentially deadly disease's spread.

Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at PHE, commented: "While HIV rates are declining in the general population, we are still seeing HIV impact far too hard of certain communities.

"That's why I'm very excited to see twice the number of projects winning funding this year, with some excellent bold new creative approaches to help boost local action to reduce HIV among high-risk groups."

However, for healthcare facilities and projects that have not been awarded extra funding to help them to tackle the spread of HIV, there is still action that can be taken to assist in preventing the disease's spread. For example, exemplary sharps safety standards to lower the risk of needle injuries that could lead to the infection being transmitted should be followed at all times, with fresh, sterile needles used for every new injection.

In addition, specialty sharps safety devices should be used wherever possible to stop used or broken needles from causing injuries that could lead to blood contamination and the spread of infections, such as HIV.

This highlights the importance of anyone who suffers a sharps injury or is concerned that they have contracted HIV by any other means to seek medical treatment immediately to prevent the infection from spreading further.