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Charity NAM aidsmap set to close after 37 years

NAM aidsmap, one of the world’s leading sources of community led information in HIV is set to close after 37 years of operation.

The British based charity has a global reach and is a well-respected source of information on HIV that presents information in lay terms.

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In an announcement that publisher’s board said their operation was no longer financially viable, and they would be winding up their activities.

“With heavy hearts, we announce the proposed closure of our beloved charity, NAM aidsmap, this month. After 37 years of pioneering health journalism, community engagement, and empowerment through information, we will cease operations this summer.

“We are incredibly proud of the millions we’ve reached worldwide and the grassroots ingenuity and commitment of our team and partners.” the announcement said.

NAM was founded by volunteers at London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard in 1987, at a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV, when AIDS hysteria was widespread and there was very little reliable information.

The National AIDS Manual (NAM), then a ringbound folder, swiftly became an important, evidence-based, reference point for professionals as well as people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.

Their online information service aidsmap has remained a source for accurate and reliable HIV information over the years, covering key scientific events and making information about treatment, prevention and support accessible to wider audiences.

The group said aidsmap has supported people with HIV to access and engage with healthcare and the lifesaving medication that is now available.

“We have advocated for PrEP and have been a key player in endorsing and disseminating the knowledge that effective HIV treatment means no risk of sexual transmission (aka UequalsU).” the group said.

Sadly, the service no longer had sufficient funding to continue.

“As you may know, the HIV sector faces numerous challenges and uncertainties. With broader access to prevention and treatment, and more widely accessible information, it has become increasingly difficult for us to secure funding amidst rising costs.

“Regrettably, the Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to propose to close aidsmap in July. Despite exploring alternatives, we do not see a sustainable path forward. We must make this decision while still solvent to ensure a respectful and orderly wind-up for our staff, freelancers, partners, funders, beneficiaries, and suppliers.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported our vision for a world where HIV is no longer a threat to health or happiness. Together, we have made a difference.” the leaders of NAM aidsmap said.

HIV researchers and advocates praise the work of aidsmap

The closure of the service has been described as a huge loss for community effected by HIV on a global scale.

Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of UN AIDS posted to social media thanking the aidsmap team for their many years of providing information.

“You have been a trusted source and resource for people living with HIV and everyone in the global HIV response. You leave an exceptional legacy.” Byanyima said.

The International AIDS Society also stated that the closure of the service would leave a significant void.

“NAM has consistently delivered unparalleled commentary and coverage of critical HIV-related news. It is now more imperative than ever for all stakeholders in the HIV response to intensify our efforts to fill this significant void.” they said.

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