Tameside exceeds HIV transmission reduction targets almost a decade early

Date Released - 19/12/2022

NEW TRANSMISSIONS of HIV has significantly reduced across Tameside and Greater Manchester with figures  exceeding international targets, thanks to the work of local sexual health teams and NHS initiatives across the region to increase access to HIV testing and provide improved treatment for people living with HIV.

New data around people living with HIV in the UK, released on World Aids Day (1 December), shows that Tameside and Greater Manchester have exceeded the target, nine years ahead of the 2030 ambition.

In 2014, UNAIDS published its report ‘Fast-Track - Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030’, which set out the ambition for the world to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. As part of this ambition, Fast Track Cities were launched as cities have been heavily affected by the epidemic and have been at the forefront of responding to HIV.

In 2018 Greater Manchester launched as a Fast-Track City with all ten council leaders and the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, signing up to the bold plan to end new HIV transmissions in Greater Manchester by 2030. This is often described as 95:95:95 target:

To continue working towards zero new transmissions by 2030 early diagnosis across Tameside and Greater Manchester is key, with people  asked to test regularly, seek medical advice if they think they’ve been exposed and access effective treatment as soon as possible if HIV positive.

Having an undetectable viral load is the goal of HIV drug treatment, this is where the level HIV virus in the body is low enough to not be detected by a test. When a viral load has been undetectable for 6 months or more, it means the virus cannot be passed on through sex.

Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health and Wellbeing, said: “There are around 330 people living with HIV in Tameside and while there is still no cure an early diagnosis and very effective drug treatments allow most people with the virus to live long and healthy lives and not develop any AIDS-related illnesses.”

Testing is available at the following places:

For more information on local services as well as support living with HIV visit:  https://www.tameside.gov.uk/health/sexualhealth

For HIV testing, advice and support in Greater Manchester visit https://sorthiv.org.uk/ for Sort HIV.

For living with HIV support, visit https://ght.org.uk/ for George House Trust.