Sigma Research

HIV Prevention England - Evaluation of National HIV Testing Week

Duration: October 2012 - June 2015

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is a national programme of HIV prevention for men that have sex with men (MSM) and African people in England, with an initial contract running for 33 months from 01-07-2012 to 30-03-2015.

As part of the programme the HPE partners originated and ran National HIV Testing Week, in late November 2012 and again in 2013 and 2014. National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) is a high profile national campaign that encourages England’s populations most affected by HIV to consider taking an HIV test. These groups include gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and African people.

The aims of National HIV Testing Week are:

  • To increase testing among England’s key populations most affected by HIV - MSM and African people.
  • To increase awareness and acceptability of HIV testing among these groups.
  • To increase access to HIV testing in both community and statutory settings in order to improve early diagnosis and treatment of HIV (and thus reduce onward transmission).

Sigma's role was to monitor and evaluate NHTW via a variety of data collection strategies in November of 2012 and 2013 and 2014, including

  • close observation of social media (Twitter and Facebook) and other online activity (You Tube and online advertising);
  • monitoring of press releases and press stories;
  • monitoring of the activity of HPE local delivery partner and the wider HIV sector;
  • a self-completion online survey of national service providers, immediately after each NHTW period;
  • examination of national surveillance data, to establish whether their has been any impact on the volume of HIV tests undertaken around NHTW.

This project will consolidate understandings of the value of National HIV Testing Week and other interventions of this type, and provide a comprehensive overview of activities undertaken and their likely impact. Best practice from the most successful approaches can be explored and learning shared amongst organisations potentially adding value and building capacity in the sector. This project will also help to demonstrate whether the HIV Prevention England project is providing value for money for the government and which approaches have been most successful for future commissioning. Planned outputs from this project include a report for the sector and one academic article.

Key contact: Peter Weatherburn

HIV Prevention England is funded by Public Health England and managed by Terrence Higgins Trust.