22 August 2013
A new cross channel research project to help identify the reasons behind late diagnosis of HIV and how to promote earlier testing has been launched.
The IMPRESS Health 2 project has been funded by the Interreg IVA France (Channel) England programme and plans to work with local authorities, charities and healthcare organisations in Kent and Medway and their partners in Picardie, France. This proposal, which has received £967,880 of funding, is scheduled to run for two years.
Around half of all patients diagnosed HIV positive in Kent and Medway are diagnosed at a late stage. If someone is diagnosed a long time after they have been infected with HIV, it is more likely that the virus will have already seriously damaged their immune system. In 2012, 118 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Kent and Medway, 58% of which were diagnosed at a late stage.
Meradin Peachey, Director of Public Health at Kent County Council, said: “This project is important to us as we learn about new ways to diagnose HIV early so it can be treated. We are very pleased to be working with our French partners.”
The research study will be guided by Canterbury Christ Church University Professor Annmarie Ruston, Head of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research. She said: “This study is valuable for Kent and Medway as it has the potential to improve the health outcomes for patients with HIV, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment.”
Late diagnosis is one of the biggest contributing factors to illness and death for people with HIV. Early diagnosis is important so people can start treatment if they need to, look after their own health and take steps to ensure they don’t pass the virus on.
The partners of the IMPRESS Health 2 project are proposing to carry out research to identify factors behind the late diagnosis of HIV in the cross border region of Kent and Medway and Picardie. They will also trial innovative ways to promote earlier HIV testing which will contribute to the better health of the population in their cross border region.
The lead partner for the project is The Health and Europe Centre, with co-partners in Kent and Medway including Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent County Council Public Health, Kent Community Health NHS Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and the Medway NHS Foundation Trust.
The IMPRESS HEALTH 2 project has been selected in the context of the INTERREG IVA France (Channel) – England European cross-border co-operation programme, which is co-financed by the ERDF.
For more information on the project contact: Samantha Wood, Project Leader, The Health and Europe Centre on 00 44 1622 724110 or via email: Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org .
Notes to Editor
Lead partner for the project is the HEALTH AND EUROPE CENTRE. Other partners are:
- CANTERBURY CHRIST CHURCH UNIVERSITY
- KENT COUNTY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEALTH
- KENT COMMUNITY HEALTH NHS TRUST
- MAIDSTONE AND TUNBRIDGE WELLS NHS TRUST
- MEDWAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- CENTRE HOSPITALIER UNIVERSITAIRE D'AMIENS
- INSTANCE REGIONALE D'EDUCATION ET DE PROMOTION DE LA SANTE DU PICARDIE
- ASSOCIATION AIDES