Projects and activities

To meet its current objectives, SHIP HIT is working on the following projects and activities:

Accelerate work to end new cases of HIV by 2030

  • We are leading the Fast Track Cities Bristol initiative in developing existing infrastructure to implement the HIV Action Plan for England to end new HIV diagnosis by 2030. Much of this work is to increase HIV testing and reduce HIV stigma.
  • We are part of Common Ambition Bristol, a three-year community-powered project led by local HIV charity Brigstowe and African Voices Forum. People from African and Caribbean heritage communities in Bristol are co-producing interventions with health care professionals from Unity Sexual Health to reduce HIV stigma, increase HIV testing and improve sexual health within their communities. Bristol City Council’s public health team are members of the project advisory group. Researchers from the University of Bristol NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation and NIHR ARC West are working with community researchers to evaluate the co-production process and the project outcomes.
  • We are involved in Hearts and Minds:
    a collaborative community project finding new ways to reduce HIV stigma in
  • We are working with partners to detect HIV earlier by promoting the availability of HIV testing outside of sexual health clinics, such as in A&E, GP practices, in communities, pharmacies and via vending machines.

Improve STI testing and partner notification and reduce risk of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

  • We are evaluating a shared care service model for managing positive chlamydia and gonorrhoea cases diagnosed in primary care. Positive test results are sent to one of Unity’s specialist sexual health clinicians who will ensure the patient is assessed, treated, and full partner notification is undertaken. Through this new way of working, we aim to improve patient treatment, partner notification and follow up, without increasing GP workloads.
  • We are evaluating the quality of services provided by online STI test providers against national guidelines and engaging with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) to effect long-term regulatory change.

Strengthen patient and public involvement in sexual health

  • We are working to ensure views from less heard groups are able to influence service delivery and development.
  • We are supporting Fast Track Cities Bristol patient and public involvement in steering group and workstreams.
  • We support Unity Sexual Health’s patient advisory group.
  • We are consulting with the public on how they feel about sexual health data sharing.

Improve understanding of sexual health needs and inequalities

  • We are undertaking a sexual health needs assessment across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), focusing on inequalities. We are supporting the development of BNSSG’s sexual health strategy to ensure sexual health needs and inequalities are addressed collaboratively.
  • We are working across the system to find ways to improve data linkage between healthcare organisations and public health. Making data linkage better will ensure data is more accurate and timely, which could result in reducing the spread of STIs, reducing the risk of AMR and improving partner notification.

Increase the role of pharmacies in sexual health improvement

  • We are helping to develop sexual health services delivered in community pharmacies, for example HIV point of care testing, pregnancy testing, click and collect service for condoms for vulnerable patients, PrEP delivery.

Improve response to domestic violence and sexual abuse

Strengthen our collaborative network and developing a national network

  • We convene regular network meetings and present at conferences and events nationally and internationally.
  • We influence commissioning and policy nationally, contributing to NICE, Parliamentary Group and National Strategy consultations.
  • One of our SHIP co-directors, Dr Harding-Esch, is based outside the region, which helps to strengthen our connections nationally.