A lot of progress has been made to eradicate HIV and mitigate its effects, promote mental health awareness and support women and LGBTQI+ rights. However, many of these interventions are not reaching BAME communities, who are disproportionately affected by HIV.

  • People living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy can enjoy a near normal life expectancy — if diagnosed early. In 2016, 54% of Black Africans were diagnosed late, the highest number of any ethnic group [1].
  • There was an 18% decline in new HIV diagnoses in 2016 from the previous year [2]. However, this decline has primarily been experienced only by one key population disproportionately affected by HIV. So while combination prevention is clearly effective, there has been a very slow take up of life-saving and life-extending treatment in BAME communities.
  • An inclusive strategy is needed that addresses the specific needs of BAME communities in order to maximise take up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

There are a number of access barriers that prevent Black communities from getting the health care and information they need from social and economic inequalities, to experiences of racism and discrimination.

  • Spending on sexual health has fallen by £64 million (10%) [3] over the past four years- despite increasing demand for services- leading to the decommissioning of a number of sexual health clinics. This has a negative impact for the general population, including BAME communities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

This is why we work.

NAZ wants to bring sexual health to everyone. Simply replicating the same strategies that have been effective in some groups to BAME communities is not adequate.

We need:

  • to adopt a more nuanced approach that recognises the inherent diversity within ethnic minorities  
  • to work within multidisciplinary teams involving partners far beyond the sexual health sector, including corporations and the media.
  • leadership that comes from BAME communities at both a high-level strategic and on-the-ground programme level.

[1] PHE (2017) National HIV surveillance data tables

[2] PHE (2017) HIV in the United Kingdom: decline in new HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men in London, 2017 report

[3] The King’s Fund (2017) Big cuts planned to public health budgets

[4] PHE (2017) Infographic: Sexually transmitted infections and chlamydia screening in England, 2016