We also work to educate the public about HIV and raise awareness, so we can tackle the stigma and prejudice which still exists in today’s society. We listen to people living with, and affected by, HIV and those who support them and we put the needs and rights of HIV positive people at the heart of everything we do.
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What NAT does
NAT is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with HIV and we do this by influencing the laws and policies – on areas such as health, benefits, and rights – which affect people with HIV.
What is NAT’s vision?
Our vision is a world in which people living with HIV are treated as equal citizens with respect, dignity and justice, are diagnosed early and receive the highest standards of care, and in which everyone knows how and is able to protect themselves from HIV infection.
What does NAT’s work focus on?
- Promoting public health through effective HIV prevention and early diagnosis of HIV infection.
- Promoting the rights, dignity, health and wellbeing of people affected by HIV, or at risk of HIV infection, in the UK.
- Advancing the education of the public in general (and in particular policy makers, opinion formers and decision-makers) in order to increase awareness and understanding of HIV and AIDS and eradicate HIV-related stigma, discrimination and inequality.
What has NAT achieved recently?
- We successfully campaigned for the Government to make it illegal for employers to ask job applicants about their health or disability (including their HIV status) in advance of a job offer.
- We persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service to change its policy so that people with HIV now receive the same protections from hate crime as other people with a disability.
- NAT's expert seminar on 'Psychological support for people living with HIV' resulted in the development of national standards for this essential aspect of treatment and care.
- NAT successfully campaigned for the Government to retain and increase its funding for HIV social care, allocated to local authorities.
- NAT's campaigning on benefits has resulted in an independent review to look at how benefits assessment can be improved to take into account fluctuating conditions - and NAT are part of the working group to ensure that the interests of people with HIV are considered.
How does NAT involve people living with HIV in their work?
- We encourage regular dialogue with people living with HIV so we can hear about their experiences and concerns, and use this information to shape our work.
- We run two virtual networks which are driven by NAT but also shaped and formed by the feedback and involvement of our members.
- The HIV Activists Network enables people who are passionate about the rights of people with HIV to get involved in our campaigning work on areas such as benefits, prevention and testing, and social care.
- Press Gang is for people living with HIV who want to take direct action to tackle inaccurate and stigmatising coverage on HIV in the media.
- We regularly work in partnership with other organisations supporting people living with HIV and have an extended network of HIV positive people whom we collaborate with to ensure our work is relevant and helping the highest number of people possible.
- We run surveys, focus groups, and one-to-one feedback sessions among people living with HIV (often facilitated in partnership with other organisations supporting people living with HIV) in order to gather evidence of people’s experiences and concerns relating to living with HIV.