Countdown to Zero is inspired by the UNAIDS 90-90-90 campaign, an ambitious treatment target to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the UK is one of the first countries in the world to reach the 90-90-90 targets, ​campaigners across the world recognise that biomedical interventions alone will not address and redress the systemic and persistent disparities impacting minority communities​.

Significant HIV inequalities persist for BAME communities in the UK:

  • BAME people constitute 13% of the UK population, but account for 45% of people accessing HIV care
  • 79% of all women accessing HIV care in the UK were from BAME communities in 2017
  • All BAME communities are disproportionately affected by HIV. For example, in 2013, HIV prevalence in London was 30% higher among Latin Americans compared to that of the general population
  • 40% of BAME people living with HIV sometimes or often go short of food, compared to 27% of non-BAME

This stark reality suggests the methods and strategies currently deployed to reduce HIV transmission and improve sexual health literacy are not working as effectively in BAME communities as they are in others. What's more, the funding needed to reach BAME communities at scale has been significantly reduced. As reported in 2018 by National AIDS Trust, the leading HIV policy organisation, f​unding for BAME-targeted sexual health promotion dropped by more than 50% in London alone.​

As such, Countdown to Zero has three distinct aims:

  • Engage BAME-serving businesses, trusted cultural icons and thought leaders to promote and encourage regular HIV testing
  • Eradicate HIV-related stigma by improving HIV literacy and facilitating conversations about living well with HIV
  • Call on the government to increase the resources and funds allocated to BAME-led organisations to co-design and lead the initiatives to end HIV in our communities

Find out more about Countdown to Zero here