To: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care
2030 is unnecessary delay to stop all HIV infections in the UK
The HIV commission consultation is just a vanity project to address the PR and accountability deficit in the HIV sector. An arbitrary date of 2030 has been set to either get to 90% testing and treatment of people with HIV and stop HIV infections. The arbitrary date of 2030 lets the responsible relax and have a breather and not follow through with any ambition to actually stop HIV in the UK.
The goal of stopping HIV in the UK can be much sooner and everyone knows this after the pandemic we have been through and there is a lack of will and corruption in the HIV sector to push hard - there is no credible explanation why we have to wait until 2030 when HIV could have been addressed much sooner.
The problem is that HIV commissioning in NHS England is saturated with BHIVA members - a doctors union for HIV specialists - who do not even represent the interests of HIV patients. They decide the funding specifications for HIV prevention and treatment and in a conflict of interest similar figures in the HIV sector also sit on trustees of HIV charities applying for the public funding contracts that are awarded to the commissioned specifications. HIV charities have to toe the line and do not ordinarily represent the population of people living with HIV without recourse to funding.
Coupled with HIV related stigma that perpetuates a shady environment where people shy from asking probing questions into conflicts of interest, patients themselves are not able to have representation that addresses disputes or abuse that occurs in their interaction with the NHS - because of the lopsided power structures that exclude their voices and mute their representation as charities are increasingly focussed on funding.
The subject of this petition is to give voice of recognition to the inadequate goal of halting HIV that should be a core passion and focus of HIV sector work - that the plan for 2030 is symptomatic of the wider problems in the HIV sector as a whole. Albeit that there is no normalisation of HIV alongside other conditions and stigma is being used paradoxically as a cloak to protect and shield failure for scrutiny and exposure.
Any reasonable approach to rollout any national plan to stop HIV has to be sent to the GP and primary care to facilitate and what also contributes to reluctance to bring those plans forward is that a broader group of people will become involved and dilute the power of the small coterie used to power in the HIV sector and challenge the status quo. However to resolve the HIV issue in the UK requires transformation of the status quo and this is why the problem has been kicked down the road.
The department of health, knew that the commissioning of the HIV commission would inevitably conclude that a rollout and plan to stop all HIV in the UK would require a comprehensive rollout involving GP and primary care and that the diversion to a commission has wasted precious time discovering what must have been the obvious approach to the problem and its solutions. The HIV sector have been knowledgable and complicit in the failings and now hope the intended audience for 2030 will just nod and accept their ambition to kick it down the road until such a time that people's memories will be fade or be diverted yet again from the talking shop and inaction to change the status quo.
They are counting on silence and the cloak of stigma to protect them from accountability - this petition says clearly that this corruption is no longer acceptable.
Furthermore the UK government has statutory and legal duties to address proper action to the communities at risk from HIV and cannot be allowed to shirk its responsibilities by passing the buck and permit commissions to prevaricate and frustrate progress that it should be undertaking. The NHS have a core responsibility under the NHS constitution to ensure that NHS services are designed in consultation directly with patients and this doesn't happen with the domination of BHIVA on the committee for commissioning HIV services and HIV charities simply are not substitution for patient representation - their excuse of being HIV-led organisations falls short of addressing the democratic/accountability deficit that occurs to exclude HIV+ people from having a direct unfettered say in health services and access to support that is not tainted by the conflicts of interest tied up in the current system.
This petition is about communicating that the approach is to continue failure and it is simply not good enough.
Why is this important?
Other people should join this petition to tell those organisations, the government and the NHS that it could be doing better and 2030 is just not good enough. There is no reasonable explanation why HIV cannot be stopped sooner and why are these organisations. like THT, the Elton John AIDS foundation decided to sit on their hands and fail over the decades to democratise HIV sector and push for better representation of HIV+ people directly to have a say in their own NHS care - why has been left to a doctors union to saturate the commissioning of HIV services and wield to much power over the sector.
It is important to stop the silent complicity that is threatened by adverse public contract outcomes by the people who set the specifications for HIV treatment and also have a hand in the awarding of contracts to HIV charities and sit on the boards and trustees for the same charities. It is important to stop excluding HIV+ people as they have limited say and input into a sector that claims to be representing their needs but is constantly prioritising the funding applications for public contracts.