27 October 2022
Common Ambition Bristol (CAB) has launched a film to bust myths around HIV and sexual health. The major community-powered project aims to reduce stigma and increase testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by working with African and Caribbean heritage communities. It’s led by Brigstowe (charity for people living with HIV), African Voices Forum (AVF) and Unity Sexual Health and is being evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West).
The film ‘HIV: Talk. Test. Protect’ shows members of the community getting involved with researchers, healthcare professionals and other organisations to design sexual health services which meet the needs of African and Caribbean heritage communities. This process of co-production is central to addressing some of the myths around sexual health in an accessible, culturally appropriate way.
The CAB team hopes that the film can be used to share their work with project partners, researchers, sexual health services and the public. The film shows how members of the Caribbean and African heritage communities in Bristol have been at the core of developing the project’s different interventions, from a community sexual health clinic to a myth-busting website.
Funding was generously provided for the project by the University of Bristol’s Participatory Research Fund (Research England).
Common Ambition is a three-year project funded by the Health Foundation. It brings together people of African and Caribbean heritage and health care professionals from the Unity Sexual Health partnership (including Terrence Higgins Trust and Brook) to work on:
In June the project launched an outreach programme to address HIV stigma and increase testing among African and Caribbean heritage communities. It also launched a myth-busting website aimed at generally improving sexual health within these communities in Bristol.
Aisha-monic Namurach, Common Ambition Bristol project coordinator, said:
“What Common Ambition really means is a lot of organisations coming together to achieve four main aims, with members of the community telling us what they need from services.
“Co-production has been vital in allowing us to bring the theoretical and medical elements of HIV awareness together with the very real, honest human aspect and truly make our community aware of why we do what we do and why it’s important. This film will hopefully help us to reach people on a real level within our African and Caribbean communities.”
Fiona Fox, from the NIHR ARC West evaluation team, secured funding for and coordinated the film. She commented:
“Our film was co-produced with members of CAB and two experienced film makers, all from Bristol’s African and Caribbean heritage communities. We hope that the film, ‘HIV; Talk. Test. Protect’ will encourage people to do exactly that.”