EJAF is piloting the world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB) designed to tackle HIV in London.
It offers an innovative approach to social and financial returns. The aim is to dramatically reduce HIV transmission in South East London by bringing additional investment to fund the commissioning of new evidence based interventions to address local health needs.
The new collaboration involves the creation of a Social Investment Partnership (based on the SIB model) which is supported by a National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The partnership brings together all local stakeholders in the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham involved in the commissioning of the HIV care pathway (Local Authorities, CCGs, NHS England and Public Health England).
The partnership will work with HIV service providers including Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations in identifying ways of utilizing additional resources to commission innovative interventions to increase HIV testing in high risk groups as well as improving access to HIV treatment and retention in care that are specifically targeted to the needs of the local population.
The project will be initially funded by private investors such EJAF, other foundations, and impact investing funds. The financial return will be linked to the achievement of two outcomes: diagnosing new cases of HIV and re-engaging patients who dropped out of HIV care.
Sir Elton John said: ‘” The UK has one of the best systems to treat people living with HIV in the world. We need to build on this and some excellent local HIV services to increase HIV diagnosis and get the people who need it into care. I’m so proud that we are partnering with local government who have been on the frontlines of this disease for so long in the UK.”
Anne Aslett, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation commented: “In its history, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has supported every major HIV charity in the UK and every NHS treatment centre for HIV/AIDS in the UK. With the advent of new medical treatments, and with new insights into the barriers for people needing to test or receive treatment for HIV infection, we saw an opportunity to help make a dramatic impact on the UK’s HIV epidemic.”
Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council leader, said: “This programme is hugely important for our boroughs because of our high relative rates of HIV infection, and because we have a high concentration of communities who are most at risk from HIV. I’m grateful for Elton John’s contribution and proud to be working with his foundation to tackle this pressing issue.”
Michael Marsh, the London region medical director for NHS E specialised commissioning, said: “London is doing very well in HIV prevention and treatment. However, it is clear that there is still more work to be done, particularly to improve early diagnosis and to support people to remain on treatment. Adherence to treatment is vital, not only to secure optimal health outcomes for individuals but also to reduce the spread of infection within the community. That’s why we’re delighted that the NHS in London is partnering up with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and partners on this innovative project, which will build on the capital’s existing strong HIV services and further our work as a world leader in AIDS prevention”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We should all be proud that the UK is one of the first countries in Europe to see a substantive decline in HIV diagnosis in gay and bisexual men, down 21% in the last year alone. But we must maintain a relentless focus on beating this disease and exciting collaborations like this could help us move ever closer to elimination of HIV and AIDS.”
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund said: “We want to use National Lottery funding to enable more people to lead fulfilling lives. The Elton John AIDS Foundation and its partners are taking an innovative approach towards the commissioning of services which support people with HIV and AIDS.”
Pedro Sampaio, the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s SIB Portfolio Manager, stressed the 6-year SIB welcomes additional private investment. “The more funds we have, the quicker we get to our goal of eradicating HIV in the UK. This is a fantastic opportunity to invest and deliver a massive social good – reducing illness and death, preventing new infections and proving what works.”
For queries about the SIB project please contact Pedro.Sampaio@ejaf.org