London: Gay men’s health charity GMFA faces uncertain future after funding cut

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GMFA says it will no longer receive funding for its London HIV information services.

The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), Britain’s largest HIV and sexual health charity announced in March that around £1.2 million had been cut from the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme.

GMFA and THT have been notified that they will no longer receive funding for their London HIV information services, including GMFA’s websites and the sex and health magazine, FS, as well as THT’s press advertising campaigns.

GMFA’s Head of Programmes, Matthew Hodson, said: “I am genuinely shocked and appalled by these decisions. I fail to understand the thinking behind it. There are more gay men living with HIV in London than anywhere else in the UK, and the numbers continue to rise.

“Considering the size of London’s gay population, there is an urgent need for broad based campaigns and information resources, which are able to reach 1,000s of men. All of the work that is continuing to be funded can at best only reach a fraction of London’s gay population, and these cuts comes at a time when the need to raise awareness is higher than ever.”

Mr Hodson said GMFA now faced an uncertain future. “The websites are relatively cheap to run, costing far less than any other pan-London HIV prevention activity, and reach more gay men than any of the other projects too. We can’t afford to keep them going at the same level without any funding.”

He added: “These cuts mean that there is no London funded general information resources and represent another major cut in HIV prevention funding, at a time when HIV diagnoses amongst gay men are increasing.”