National AIDS Trust

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The National AIDS Trust (NAT) is a United Kingdom 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]

Activities[edit]

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 lobbied the NHS to consider immediate treatment for those diagnosed with HIV because those who are on treatment suppress their viral load and cannot pass HIV on. The policy was changed, which was a contributing factor in historic drops in HIV diagnoses.[9]
  • In a much-publicised case, NAT challenged NHS England in court over their failure to consider providing the HIV prevention drug PrEP. In 2016, NAT won their case in the High Court and won a later appeal, resulting in the IMPACT trial, which will benefit at least 10,000 at-risk patients in England.[10] The battle for PrEP was the topic of BBC Two documentary 'The People Vs The NHS: Who Gets The Drugs?' in July 2018.[11]

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 in Highgate in London, and maintains a permanent staff of fewer than 20 people, and a pool of volunteers. The current chief executive is Deborah Gold.[12]

An important recurring role of NAT is the annual hosting of the World AIDS Day[13] website. NAT develops resources[14] 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 Professor Jane Anderson CBE.

Trustees

The trustees of the National AIDS Trust are:[15]

  • Professor Jane Anderson CBE (Chair)
  • Dr Lee Winter
  • Kathleen Britain
  • Professor Paul Flowers
  • Jonathan Bell
  • Dr Valerie Delpech
  • Judy Hague
  • Andrew Hochhauser QC
  • Peter Roscrow
  • Dr Olwen Williams OBE

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who we are - About us - National AIDS Trust - NAT". nat.org.uk.
  2. ^ "Why the Government Risks Letting People With HIV Down". The Huffington Post UK.
  3. ^ "BMJ Blogs: The BMJ » Blog Archive » Yusef Azad: The changing face of injecting drug use in the UK". bmj.com.
  4. ^ "Information and resources - NAT - National AIDS Trust - NAT". nat.org.uk.
  5. ^ "Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals". BBC News.
  6. ^ http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/equality-bill-to-ban-pre-employment-health-questionnaires/
  7. ^ "Lifetime blood donation ban for gay men lifted today". PinkNews.
  8. ^ Sarah Boseley. "Restrictions on health workers with HIV lifted as 'outdated' ban ends". the Guardian.
  9. ^ "Clinical Commissioning Policy: Treatment as Prevention (TasP) in HIV infected adults" (PDF). https://www.england.nhs.uk/. July 2015. line feed character in |title= at position 23 (help); External link in |website= (help)
  10. ^ "PrEP IMPACT Trial website".
  11. ^ "The People Vs The NHS: Who Gets The Drugs".
  12. ^ "Staff - Team - About us - NAT - Our team - About us - National AIDS Trust - NAT". nat.org.uk.
  13. ^ Halesway Ltd. "World Aids Day". worldaidsday.org.
  14. ^ "Shop". NAT.
  15. ^ "Trustees - Our team - About us - National AIDS Trust - NAT". nat.org.uk.

External links[edit]