Tackling Glasgow’s HIV Outbreak
About Glasgow’s HIV Street Support Service: Over the last 6 months, we have been working closely with reporters James Cheyne and Sarah Smith from BBC sharing the work of our HIV Street Support Service.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, our HIV Street Support Service works with people living with or at risk of HIV who are homeless or in temporary accommodation in Glasgow.
The service was established in response to Glasgow’s ongoing HIV outbreak, with a clear need to provide services in a way that meets the needs of people who would otherwise find it difficult to access support or testing to treat or prevent HIV, while they face a number of other significant challenges in life.
The challenges experienced by people we reach out to can often include having complex physical and mental health needs while coping with poverty, incarceration, addiction, homelessness, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The breadth and complexity of these challenges mean we provide our frontline service in a way that is tailored to the specific needs of people affected by the outbreak in Glasgow while building on our 30 years experience supporting diverse communities affected by HIV in Scotland. The service’s work also provides a vital link point to other key support and NHS services across the city, working in partnership to tackle the outbreak.
On Sunday, our work was highlighted nationally on BBC news, with this piece delving into what our Street Support Service team do on a day to day basis, including providing rapid HIV testing in Glasgow city centre.
Alongside the televised coverage, two written news pieces were shared by BBC focussing on the outbreak and our work. You can read the first article here and, a second article centred on the need for drug consumption rooms as part of wider work tackling the outbreak here.
You can also listen to radio coverage of our work on BBC Good Morning Scotland at 47:56 here.
We are heartened to see this coverage has ignited a national awareness of Glasgow’s HIV outbreak and, we hope this will spark a national conversation on how we can better support people affected by HIV when they are also experiencing other challenges in life such as poverty, poor mental health and addiction.
Alongside our outreach work in Glasgow city centre, our colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University have carried out research helping identify the cause and impact of the outbreak. Glasgow’s HIV outbreak is the largest of it’s kind in the UK in the last 30 years. This means we must take a cross-sector approach to tackle the outbreak, understanding how and why it has happened. You can read more about this research here.
A big thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund, whose support makes this vital service tackling Glasgow’s HIV outbreak possible.