UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB)

The HIV Action Plan for England

Today the Government has published the much-awaited HIV Action Plan for England, including an announcement that NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) will invest £20m over three years to support opt-out testing in Emergency Departments (A&E) in the highest prevalence areas of the country.

Read the HIV Action Plan: Towards Zero – An Action Plan towards ending HIV transmission, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England 2022-2025.

The HIV Action Plan outlines four key objectives, which address England’s HIV prevention and support needs, and the necessary requirements to achieve the Government’s target to end new HIV transmissions by 2030.

Objective 1: ensure equitable access and uptake of HIV prevention

Objective 2: scale up HIV testing in line with national guidelines

  • Focus on populations and settings where HIV testing must increase
  • Scaled up capacity for effective partner notification for people diagnosed with HIV

Objective 3: optimise rapid access to treatment and retention in care

  • Utilise innovative care models and additional support to ensure improvements in linkage to care at diagnosis, and retention in care for those living with HIV

Objective 4: improving the quality of life for people living with HIV and addressing stigma

  • Cross-system working to optimise the quality of life for people living with HIV
  • Improve HIV knowledge and awareness within the health and care workforce

UK-CAB welcome the new investment for opt-out HIV testing which will help to reduce the numbers of people living with undiagnosed HIV. We support the objectives published in the HIV Action Plan and the inclusion of initiatives which focus on groups often left behind in the HIV response, including those not retained in care.

Whilst we remain cautious of the reliance on an already under-resourced HIV sector, including voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, and NHS stakeholders, we believe that collectively we have the necessary expertise and ambition to see the HIV Action Plan achieve its aims. This can only happen by working with people living with and affected by HIV to meaningfully involve them in the delivery of the plan.

As a network represented on the HIV Oversight Group, which informed and shaped the HIV Action Plan, we hope to continue to work with our HIV sector partners, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and other key stakeholders to ensure the objectives of the HIV Action Plan are realised.

The HIV response in other UK nations

We expect the Welsh and Scottish Governments to publish their own plans in 2022. The Northern Ireland Executive remain the only UK administration who have not committed to the target of ending new HIV transmission by 2030.