Trust marks World AIDS Day 2021

01 December 2021

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is proud to mark World AIDS Day today. As a leading Trust that has a proud history of achievements in the research, innovation and care of people living with HIV, we are committed to challenging stigma, creating awareness and improving the care we offer every day.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is proud to mark World AIDS Day today. As a leading Trust that has a proud history of achievements in the research, innovation and care of people living with HIV, we are committed to challenging stigma, creating awareness and improving the care we offer every day.

More than 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV/AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. 

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, in 2019 in the UK more than 4,100 people were diagnosed with HIV—people do not have access to the knowledge or services needed to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away—there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, increase access, adopt innovations, fight prejudice and improve education. 

Following the 2017 launch of the PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Impact Trial—one of the largest clinical trials of its kind in the world, designed get answers to key questions about the use of PrEP in England—we have a range of resources available at our sexual health clinics. 

The team at Sexual Health Hounslow have a stand at our West Mid site, where they are talking abut U equals U, with reducing to reduce the stigma around AIDS. 56 Dean Street are at G-A-Y Bar, for drop-in HIV testing and PrEP sign-ups. The team have also taken over our Instagram account – make sure to have a look at the great work they’re doing @chelwestft.

Timeline of achievements at our Trust


Professor Brian Gazzard diagnoses the first case of AIDS in the UK. 


John Hunter Clinic for Sexual Health opens. 


Launch of St Stephen’s Volunteers providing a listening ear and support for the increasing numbers of patients, their friends and families, including their famous ward ‘T Parties’. 


Significant advances in treatment lead to the closure of one of our two HIV wards due to a reduction in the number of people living with HIV who require inpatient care. 


The new St Stephen’s Centre is constructed, offering a five-storey facility dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of patients with AIDS. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher helps push through building and planning permissions. 


Princess Diana opens the Kobler Clinic, as part of the former St Stephen’s Hospital, on 13 September 1988—the first HIV clinic in the UK. It is now the largest and busiest HIV clinic in Western Europe. It is part of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has seven different HIV and sexual health clinics across London and is recognised as a global centre of excellence in this area of healthcare. 


Early clinical trials begin at St Stephen’s which will lead to breakthroughs in dual therapy antiviral treatment. 


Sir Elton John opens the Information Exchange at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, supported by his foundation.


Researchers at St Stephen’s Centre continue to make breakthroughs with colleagues around the world, by developing triple therapy antivirals (HAART). 


Opt-out HIV testing is introduced for all pregnant women leading over the following few years to the virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. 


Creation of a clinical research facility to develop life-saving treatment s for HIV and other viral infections. 


The Trust is the first NHS service to offer rapid 1-hour HIV Point of Care (PoC) testing. 


56 Dean Street opens. 


The first over 50s HIV clinic in the UK opens at the Trust.


56 Dean Street achieves a Guinness World Record for the most HIV tests performed in one location on World AIDS Day at G-A-Y Bar in Soho, London. 


Dean Street Express opens. It is the first clinic in the world to have an on-site Infinity machine, allowing the service to give results within 6 hours.

Our clinicians take part in the PROUD study. The data from the study showed that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was highly protective against HIV for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) at high risk of infection. PrEP is a medication taken by an HIV negative person, who is at substantial risk of HIV infection so as to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV. The results of the PROUD study help to change international guidelines on HIV prevention. They were taken forward in the UK by the PrEP Impact study which started in 2017. 


The Trust is one of the largest recruiters to the PARTNER study. This huge European project comprehensively demonstrates U=U—Undetectable=Untransmissible. When someone living with HIV is taking antiretroviral therapy and has an undetectable viral load they cannot pass HIV on to a sexual partner. 


10 Hammersmith Broadway opens.


56 Dean Street launches the ‘Plan ZERO’ campaign to combat HIV including a Dean Street PRIME service for members most at risk. It saw an 80% fall in new diagnoses of HIV London, reported by UNAIDS.


The PrEP Impact trial begins at the Trust, and becomes one of the largest clinic trial of its kind in the world. 

AIDS: Doctors and Nurses tell their Stories, produced by Dean Street Clinic Manager Leigh Chislett, premiers.


Stephen Fry joined staff from the Kobler Clinic at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on  14 September to celebrate the clinic’s 30th birthday, marking 30 years of incredible developments in the prevention and treatment of HIV. With frequent testing, early antiretroviral therapy and a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) NHS England Trial, the Trust sees a 50% reduction in the number of positive diagnoses over three years. 

The legal responsibility and management of the PrEP Impact Trial is moved from St Stephen’s AIDS Trust (SSAT) and St Stephen’s Clinical Research (SSCR) to the Trust. As the largest single study of its type in the world, the PrEP Impact Trial was one of the largest trials the Trust had ever sponsored, involving well in excess of 150 organisations ranging from sexual health clinics, local authority commissioners, research bodies and a drug manufacturer, as well as NHS England and Public Health England.


Originally the PrEP Impact trial was due to provide 13,000 people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV with PrEP. By January 2019, more than 10,000 people had signed up. As a result, an official request was made to increase the number of participants to 26,000 by 2020.

Imperial College Healthcare Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust merge their inpatient services for people living with HIV in the Ron Johnson Ward at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, maintaining specialist HIV and oncology expertise for more than 16,000 people. 

Dean Street’s HIV prevention and awareness YouTube films The Grass is Always Grinder hits more than 10 million combined views. 

Dean Street celebrates 10 years. 


UK government announces that PrEP will be made freely available in England from April 2020 to anyone at risk. 

The PrEP Impact trial finishes. More than 24,000 participants were recruited and the results have informed service commissioners (funders) on how to deliver a routinely commissioned PrEP service which is currently being rolled out across England on the NHS. New HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men are at their lowest in 20 years. The HIV Commission publish their report, targeting an end to new HIV infections in England by 2030. 

Dean Street becomes the largest supplier of NHS PrEP in the UK, with more than 12,500 users and counting.