Its goals are to halve by 2015:
- the proportion of people diagnosed late with HIV, and
- the proportion of people living with undiagnosed HIV.
If diagnosed early, HIV can be successfully treated and people with HIV live to near-normal life expectancies. Late diagnosis, by contrast, is associated with a greater risk of hospitalisation and AIDS-related illness, reduced life expectancy and increased cost to the NHS. It is also associated with increased onward transmission, and continued sexual risk-taking while people are unaware of their HIV-positive status. Despite this, a quarter of people living with HIV in the UK are still unaware they have the infection and 50% of HIV diagnoses are made late.
Halve It has campaigned at national level since its launch on World AIDS Day 2010 and welcomed national drivers for improvement, such as the indicator for HIV late diagnosis in the Public Health Outcomes Framework and NICE public health guidance on HIV testing. A Halve It project to pilot the development of local engagement was managed by MEDFASH with the Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network in 2013-14. A toolkit based on the learning from this project is now available.
Halve It Campaign and the local engagement project managed by MEDFASH are supported by unrestricted grants from Gilead Sciences Ltd.