Dr Katy Turner, Dr Paddy Horner, Dr Jo Copping and Dr Emma Harding-Esch, Directors of Sexual Health Improvement (SHIP) HIT, reflect on the team’s achievements from last year.
The past year has not been without its challenges, but it has also presented us with an opportunity to be more flexible and adapt our ways of working.
One of our biggest achievements has been securing £500k of Health Foundation funding for the Common Ambition Bristol project. Thanks to the huge team effort from all our partners, this important co-production project aims to reverse the inequalities in HIV experienced by people of African and Caribbean heritage in Bristol over the next three years. The project was launched at the beginning of February 2021.
We have also been busy with our Bristol Fast Track Cities Initiative group to reduce HIV and stigma. This has included a progress review, running an online HIV research workshop to build our Bristol HIV network, hosting a virtual national HIV Commission event in Bristol as part of work to develop recommendations to the government and contributing to the UK and Ireland FTC Conference last November as participants on the steering committee. Fast Track Cities has developed an ambitious action plan for year 2, and continues to seek resources to deliver.
Over the course of the past year, we have also progressed with our work around anti-microbial resistance (AMR) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We worked with NIHR ARC West to complete an evaluation of the implementation of same-day STI testing at the Unity Sexual Health clinic.
Another key achievement has been contributing to the latest Position Statement released by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) on the quality of commercial online STI testing and treatment providers.
Dr Katy Turner stood down as a co-director in June 2021. She says:
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all my SHIP colleagues, especially the Directors’ team for all your support over the years. I am so proud of what we have achieved so far and I look forward to seeing the outcomes and impact from the Common Ambition Project and Fast Track Cities. This is a fabulous opportunity for a new Director”.