The Martin Fisher Foundation won the Innovations Category of the national BMJ (British Medical Journal) Awards on Thursday 10th May 2018.
This highly prestigious award was given for developing a world-first touch-screen digital vending machine for dispensing free HIV self-tests at the Brighton Sauna. The project was made possible by a unique collaboration of designers, clinicians, researchers, technology consultants and HIV self-test manufacturers. The Martin Fisher Foundation received funding from Public Health England (PHE) as part of the 2016 HIV Prevention Innovation Fund.
With the help and support of the sauna staff the pilot started in June 2017, and has since distributed over 300 tests. Uptake during the pilot (approx. 35 tests per month) was greater than from community outreach workers prior to the machine being installed (~4.5 tests per month). The project has been highly evaluated with 95% saying they would recommend this type of testing to others. Now the 2nd generation of machines are ready to be rolled out across the city with the aim of ensuring EVERYONE is aware of their HIV status. Are you ‘Tested’ or ‘untested’?
Dr Carlos Peralta, Senior Lecturer in Design in the University’s School of Architecture & Design, said: “This award demonstrates how positive interdisciplinary collaboration between designers and health experts can be, and how design can be employed in projects geared toward social benefit. The project will be included in the Compendium of Good HIV Practices in the World Health Organisation European Region.”
Dr Liliana Rodriguez, a services design expert from the design consultancy Diptico and affiliated to the Martin Fisher Foundation, explains that the development of the project was underpinned by participatory workshops with people living with HIV and members of the general public.
Dr Gillian Dean, Trustee of the Martin Fisher Foundation and HIV Physician said ‘”We couldn’t have done it without the fantastic support of Paul, and his staff at the Brighton Sauna. Now the 2nd generation of machines are ready to be rolled out across the city we’re really looking forward to working with other local LGBT businesses in the future with the aim of ensuring EVERYONE is aware of their HIV status. Only then can we move Towards Zero new HIV infections. Are you ‘Tested’ or ‘untested’?”
This project was funded by Public Health England as part of the HIV Innovations grant 2016/7.
Collaborators include: HIV clinicians (Dr Jaime Vera, Dr Gillian Dean, Dr Suneeta Soni), designers (Dr Carlos Peralta and Dr Liliana Rodriguez), researchers (Dr Carrie Llewellyn and Alex Pollard) ,the Brighton Sauna staff, Biosure and Aeguana.