National AIDS Trust

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NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK's leading charity dedicated to transforming society's response to HIV. The charity's key strategic goals are:

• Effective HIV prevention in order to halt the spread of HIV • Early diagnosis of HIV through ethical, accessible and appropriate testing • Equitable access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV • Enhanced understanding of the facts about HIV and living with HIV in the UK • Eradication of HIV-related stigma and discrimination [1]

NAT was founded October 1987 as a non-government organisation (NGO) by the Department of Health, in order to deal with the escalating concern with HIV and AIDS nationally. Today NAT's funding comes from public donations, corporate supporters, grant-making trusts and foundations and its own fundraising work - it doesn't receive funding from the UK Government. NAT is a policy and campaigning charity, working to improve the national response to HIV through policy development, expertise [2][3] and the provision of practical resources[4] rather than through offering direct support services to people living with HIV.

Some recent NAT successes include:

• After a seven year campaign NAT secured free HIV treatment in England for all who need it[5]

• NAT brought together a coalition of charities to end the use of pre-employment health questionnaires before the offer of a job is made, through the Equality Act 2010[6]

• NAT were instrumental in securing and participating in the review which led to an overturn of the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.[7]

• NAT influenced Home Office policy so that asylum seekers living with HIV who need help with accommodation will not routinely be ‘dispersed’ away from the area where they are attending an HIV clinic.

• The Government has announced an end to the absolute ban on HIV positive healthcare workers from doing jobs which involve 'exposure prone procedures' (e.g. dentistry, surgery). From early 2014, it will be possible for people living with HIV to work in these professions, provided they are on effective treatment with a non-detectable viral load and are monitored every three months. NAT has been calling for this change for a number of years - and we were the only charity on the expert working group which made the recommendation to change the rules, based on the most recent scientific evidence.[8]

NAT runs www.hivaware.org.uk the UK's most comprehensive website on HIV for the general public. The website has up-to-date HIV facts, common Q&As, myths and interactive elements such as a quiz to check whether you have put yourself at risk of HIV. NAT has also manages www.lifewithhiv.org.uk, an online resources for people living with HIV, giving advice on common issues and concerns, ways to get involved in campaigning and downloadable resources. NAT run the www.mycaremyvoice.org.uk, a resource to empower people living with HIV to get the most from their health and social care services.

Diana, Princess of Wales made a significant contribution to NAT in her role as patron from 1991 to 1997. NAT was one of only six charities that she formally supported at the time of her death.

NAT is a small charity with one office found on Old Street in London, and maintains a permanent staff of less than 20 and a pool of volunteers. The current chief executive is Deborah Jack.[9]

An important recurring role of NAT is the annual hosting of the World AIDS Day website. NAT develops resources each year to enable other HIV organisations to maximise the impact of World AIDS Day in the UK, which is 1 December.

NAT is an independent charity with a Board of Trustees, who are responsible for the governance and direction which the charity takes. The chair of the Board is currently Dame Denise Platt DBE.

Trustees

The trustees of the National AIDS Trust are:[10]

• Dame Denise Platt DBE (Chair) • Jonathan Bell • Dr Valerie Delpech • Graham Duncan • Professor Paul Flowers • Professor Martin Green OBE • Judy Hague • David Johnson • Pat Knowles MBE • Robert MacKay • Rebecca Mbewe • Dr Olwen Williams OBE • Dr Lee Winter

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nat.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/yusef-asad/why-the-government-risks-_b_2485825.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
  3. ^ http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2013/07/17/yusef-azad-the-changing-face-of-injecting-drug-use-in-the-uk/
  4. ^ http://www.nat.org.uk/Information-and-Resources/New%20publications.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17187179
  6. ^ http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/equality-bill-to-ban-pre-employment-health-questionnaires/
  7. ^ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/11/07/lifetime-blood-donation-ban-for-gay-men-lifted-today/
  8. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/15/hiv-restrictions-health-workers-lifted
  9. ^ http://www.nat.org.uk/About-us/Team/Staff.aspx
  10. ^ http://www.nat.org.uk/About-us/Team/Trustees.aspx

External links[edit]