Saving Lives exists to raise awareness about testing for HIV and other blood-borne viruses (BBVs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including the hepatitis B and C viruses.
One in five of those with HIV in the UK are not aware they are infected. This means they are not accessing life-saving treatment and may be unknowingly infecting others. Testing for HIV is the only way to improve this situation, and promoting that service whilst reducing stigma is the best means of improving uptake.
Likewise, 1 in 12 people worldwide are living with the Hepatitis B or C virus. Every year, 1 million people die because of liver failure or liver cancer caused by Hepatitis B or C. And yet Hepatitis B and C are entirely treatable, if you find out early enough.
The people with these viruses may not be members of groups traditionally considered to be ‘at risk’, and doctors may miss their symptoms. Saving Lives therefore seeks to place testing messages where people can see them: at the football stadium or rock concert, in the tabloids or on the TV, and in so doing improve both the general consciousness of HIV, BBVs and STIs, and our knowledge of the responsibility we share to check its advance through early and effective diagnosis.
Saving Lives asks celebrity advocates to speak out in the media in favour of testing, in an effort to disseminate discussion more widely, and reach new audiences with a fresh communicative approach.
We have an excellent track record in securing considerable print, radio, television and digital media coverage for our key messages. We have a fresh voice and a modern, mass-market perspective which attempts to break down the barriers between the general public and sexual health messages. Key to achieving our goals are strategic partnerships with clinics and health practitioners nationwide, who can benefit from our campaign-in-a-box model – and share the cost of mainstream, truly localised awareness campaigns.
With the support of prominent advocates, from Premiership footballers to media-savvy doctors, we create newsworthy events and high-profile campaigning moments which reach publications and outlets that might not otherwise carry our messages. Our focus is on challenging stigma in order to encourage everyone to think more carefully about HIV and sexual health – and consider whether they need to get tested.
We are passionate about the Saving Lives message, and we are dedicated to winning it prominence and press.