Street support project set to tackle Glasgow HIV outbreak

Our Glasgow team will soon start offering on-street support to people who inject drugs, in a bid to tackle the city’s continuing HIV outbreak.

The HIV Street Support Project will offer access to harm reduction education, HIV testing and support, and has been given the go-ahead following a grant from the National Lottery Big Lottery Fund.

The project will respond to the recent increase in new HIV cases among people who are injecting drugs in public places in Glasgow. Since the outbreak began in 2015, 133 people have been diagnosed – more than trebling the previous average of 10 per year.

Our project will work with people on the street, providing one-to-one and peer support to make it as easy as possible for them to access services. A key part of the project will be to offer HIV testing, helping people to know their status and access treatment and support. At the same time, we’ll provide information and advice about HIV prevention, including support to access needle exchange and drug recovery services.

Alongside addiction, we know that the people we’re trying to reach with this project are vulnerable to issues like homelessness, poor mental health and poverty, which can often leave them isolated from health and social care services that could help them. The project will help people access the options that are available to them for support with the health and social inequalities they face.

The Street Support Project is one part of the response to the outbreak in Glasgow and will complement actions being taken by the City Council and NHS, including the establishment of a joint action group and a move to more community-based services.

We’re currently recruiting new staff members to develop and deliver the project which will be up and running by the end of the year.

We’re grateful for the support of the Big Lottery Fund to allow us to develop this important project, and are looking forward to working with partners to take it forward.