Common Ambition Bristol (part of Brigstowe)

Community Organisation Award

Community Organisation Award for Race, Religion & Faith: Sponsor - The British Army

Nominee Profile

Location: Bristol
Common Ambition Bristol (CAB) is a major 3- year community powered project led by Brigstowe. We work with African and Caribbean heritage communities in Bristol to reduce HIV diagnosis, stigma and generally improve sexual health.

This is a huge co-production project which includes health care professionals from Unity Sexual Health and the public health team from Bristol City Council to introduce new ways to improve HIV testing and broader sexual health services; as well as researchers from the University of Bristol working in collaboration with community members to evaluate the project.

African Voices Forum are the main community organisation partner on the project. The most important of all of our partners is of course the African and Caribbean heritage communities that we are working with.

Common Ambition Bristol has 4 main aims:

To increase HIV Awareness
To Increase HIV Testing
Decrease late Diagnosis of HIV

The Bristol prevalence rate of 2.7 per 1,000 was statistically significantly higher than England’s average rate of 2.4 per 100,000* (*figure taken from JSNA Health and Wellbeing Profile 2019/20) The rate has been slowly increasing since 2011.

At the last UK census, Black ethnic groups made up just over 3% of the population, however over 30% of people in the UK on treatment for HIV are of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage.

There are a disproportionate number of people of African and Caribbean heritage in Bristol who are:

1) Unaware they are HIV positive and only diagnosed once their infection is advanced and they have become seriously ill

2) Unaware they are HIV positive and are at greater risk of passing the virus on to others through unprotected sex

3) Have identified problems with accessing HIV and sexual health services

What we do

Common Ambition aims to tackle these issues, by working in partnership with African and Caribbean communities, introducing new ways to increase HIV testing and reducing HIV stigma.

This project will help Bristol achieve the goals set out by the Fast-Track Cities partnership which Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees signed up to in November 2019. These are to reduce new HIV transmissions in the city to zero by 2030, whilst at the same time eradicating HIV stigma.

This project is funded by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.