Summer 2019
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Dear all,

On behalf of Positively UK I would like to thank all the volunteers, friends, family and our staff for creating an amazing Pride Parade.

As people with HIV we are proud of who we are and the journey we have taken. We are aware that we are not there yet, we still don’t have full equality. So many people still struggle because of homophobia, transphobia and the layers of stigma that are interconnected with HIV - such as sexuality, race, gender and more.

We hope that through our work, love and solidarity, we continue to lead the way and improve the lives of people who are still struggling to live well with HIV. 

Silvia Petretti, CEO
On 6th July, Positively UK staff, volunteers and supporters celebrated Pride Jubilee together. We felt empowered and supported by the huge crowd cheering us all the way from Portland Place to Pall Mall. 
Afterwards, we enjoyed some drinks and nibbles at Victoria Embankment Gardens. 

Our Gay Men’s Project Lead Chris told Boyz magazine what Pride means to him and why our community should mark its importance. 

"This year marks four years since my own HIV diagnosis and I am marching to honour those who have lost their battle with AIDS, those who still experience homophobia, transphobia and stigma towards HIV and those who are yet to find their voice." - Chris
Read the full article here

A huge word of thanks to the incredible Gail Porter, who marched with Positively UK. Check out Gail and Chris on ITV's Pride coverage (from 4:15 minutes). 

Positively UK's mission is to share solutions across the health and social care sectors, so that people living with HIV receive effective care and support, to achieve the best health and quality of life. Throughout the past few months we continued to represent people with HIV at stakeholders' platforms. 
An integrated model of care for women living with HIV during pregnancy

Our peer navigator Janine Reed presented the successful model of peer support embedded at the Homerton University Hospital HIV clinic at the 21st Annual Conference of NHIVNA in Manchester.
Would you like to meet somebody else living with HIV? 

Due to the passionate work of our peer navigators, Christopher Buckley and Janine Reed, this is a question all HIV specialists at Homerton now ask their patients. Chris showcased the journey of improvement that he saw in one of the people he supports during this year's NHIVNA conference.  

"I'd like to thank you for saving my life multiple times in 2018. It was the year I had to quickly grow up+recover+adjust new lifestyle, the hardest year I've ever experienced. I am very happy that I survived it and you have been my superhero angel from Homerton." - a person with HIV 
Perspectives from people with HIV

During this year's BASHH Annual Conference in Birmingham, our CEO, Silvia Petretti,
talked about the dimensions of U=U and the liberating impact the message has on people's lives. Her presentation was based on a survey of 98 people living with HIV, who explained how they feel about U=U: 
"A feeling of liberation"
"A real game-changer" 
"Confident, in peace with my HIV status"
Peer Support Training for Trans People

We are committed to sharing learning and solutions across the sector and beyond to achieve the best quality of life for people with HIV and other conditions. During Pride month, our Peer and Development Lead, Garry Brough, delivered a tailored version of Positively UK's peer support training for the trans and non-binary spectrum. 

"Thank you very much for delivering training at the weekend and sharing your expertise in such an informative way and in palatable chunks. It was extremely well delivered. Thank you again." - Spectra member of staff
The Seeds project says it with flowers 

During the Annual Chelsea Fringe Festival our Project Coordinator Virginia Cucchi and her gardening crew created a beautiful and informative flower bed at the Calthorpe Community Garden. 

The Seeds group gather every week at Kings Cross for outdoor exercises and therapeutic holticultural sessions. If you are interested in joining e-mail 
Ultimate fun at THORPE PARK!

At the end of June Positively UK's Youth Team brought a group of young people with HIV to THORPE PARK! Sunshine, great conversations and to top it off quick queues! We conquered fears together and went on all of the rides!

If you are a young person and the Pos Futures socials interest you, please drop us an email to and let us know!
Connecting for Support:
Women-only Peer Support Training 

As part of our Positive Talks project, Becky, a peer trainer, and Diana, Positively UK's Women Services Coordinator delivered the first peer support training for women with HIV for 11 women who are now equipped to support other women with HIV. Positively UK is grateful and would like to thank the NAZ Project for hosting the training. 

We have more peer mentoring training scheduled for later this year. Please use this form to register your interest in becoming a peer mentor.

We recently received funding from the Postcode Community Trust for additional training for peer mentors around nutrition, drug and alcohol misuse, mindfulness and physical wellbeing. For more information, contact the Services Lead, Sarah Fraser at 
Our volunteer Harun at The Houses of Parliament 

Harun Tulunay, a volunteer and a peer mentor at Positively UK, moved to the UK in 2015 to escape discrimination and the hostile environment he faced in his native Turkey.

When he was diagnosed with HIV in 2016, he decided to become an ambassador for sexual and mental health and started to volunteer for charities in the UK. Harun delivers public speeches and shares his life experiences to tackle the stigma and to raise awareness of HIV and mental health. He also manages a Turkish blog to translate and share the most up to date information on sexual health. 

On the 10th of July, Harun joined a parliamentary session to discuss why it is important to have a dedicated mental health services in HIV clinics. 

Harun Tulunay
"When I was diagnosed with HIV, I was going through a rough patch, having suicidal thoughts and I applied to the NHS for help. I was on the waiting list for more than 6 months and at the end I was given a generic (not HIV-focused) CBT therapy. I was lucky because I found voluntary organisations like Positively UK to ask for help. However, if I didn't know about those charities, I could have committed suicide. And now all those voluntary services are facing funding cuts.

People living with HIV facing stigma and discrimination every day. The knowledge of HIV is not even the same within the NHS staff. There were nurses who refused to touch me because they didn't know what undetectable means. Going through standard NHS procedures to get mental help is difficult as we need to share our status with many people and not all of them have required knowledge.  That's why we need to bring dedicated mental health services to the HIV clinics, we need to assure that all NHS staff are educated on HIV (no matter which clinic they work at) and we need to push a public campaign, focused on stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV faces every day." - Harun

Our Garry is debunking myths around HIV on Welsh radio 

Garry Brough, Peer Learning, Partenrships and Policy Lead at Positively UK, spoke to The Swansea Sound on living well with HIV. 

"People with HIV are now living longer, taking less drugs - but still  having the same efficacy outcomes. They also have access to much bigger support networks than at the start of the epidemic in the 1980's."

Listen to the full interview here
Memory Sachikonye, 
Admin and Finance Officer

Memory was a volunteer service user for Positively Women from 2002 to 2008. She lives openly with HIV and considers herself a mentor to other people, especially women, living with HIV. She believes in working in solidarity with diverse HIV advocates to ensure that several voices are heard as one. She has vast experience working and volunteering in the HIV sector at local, national and international levels and has coordinated the UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB) for ten years.

Ian Johnes,
Fundraising Volunteer  

Ian completed our Project 100 training in 2017. He is a Peer Mentor at the YMCA where he also helps organize events, outings and runs Positive Talking groups. Ian's background includes care and support in mental health, music club promotions and artist management, as well as venue management. Ian is hoping to be raise awareness and funds through fundraising and campaigning with Positively UK. 

Following the success of the Changing Perceptions campaign, Positively UK is launching a new project to develop new voices in HIV activism. We aim to create short films and a toolkit for activists to improve the understanding of living with HIV. This includes decision-makers, health, voluntary sector and the general public. The project is supported by ViiV Healthcare and Gilead. We will work in partnership with Public Health England, National AIDS Trust and researchers. For more information, please contact Garry Brough on 


Registrations for this year's World AIDS Day Red Run 2019 is now open! 

When: Saturday 30th November 
Where: Victoria Park (E9 5EG)

Sign up here to support people in need through Positively UK's hardship fund. More details will follow up soon.

Volunteer with us! 

By volunteering your time, you can make a difference to the lives of people living with HIV that we support, and in the community. We are committed to help volunteers build on the skills and experiences that you already have.  We are looking for peer facilitators for our groups and workshops, volunteers with media and communication experience, fundraisers and blog writers.

We are looking for a media and communications intern

This is an exciting opportunity to support Positively UK’s communication strategy. It will provide a valuable opportunity to gain an insight into the charity sector while generating transferable skills and experience for both private and non-for-profit sectors. The role would suit someone who wants to give back to the community, or a marketing student looking to gain valuable experience in an organisation that will give you autonomy to take risk and learn whilst also having the support of the communication manager. The position is part-time (at least 6 hours per week) and we are happy to discuss the interests and availability of candidates at the interview stage. A commitment of at least 3 months is required. Although we are not able to offer a paid position, travel and lunch will be reimbursed.

For more information and to apply: 


Women-only Recently Diagnosed Workshop
13/14 July (Sat and Sun) 10am-4:30pm at Positively UK

Kew Garden Visit 
15 July, meeting point: Victoria Gate entrance 10:15am

Gardening Class with the Holticulture Therapist Mila  
17 July (2-4pm) at at The Calthorpe Community Gardens 

Gay Social: Cinema Night
18 July from 6:30pm at Positively UK 

Positive Talks: Moving With Power Women Workshop 
20 July (1-4pm) at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama  

Mindfulness Session (outdoors)
24 July (2-3pm) at The Calthorpe Community Gardens

Recently Diagnosed Workshop 
27-28 July 10-4pm

29 July at Hilton Hotel London Syon Park, Isleworth

Gardening Class with the Horticulturalist Virginia
31 July (2-4pm) at at The Calthorpe Community Gardens 

Grief and Loss Talk for Women 
1 August 1-4pm at Positively UK
Gay Men's Wellbeing: Life Coaching with Michael Cerasi 3 August (12-4pm) at Positively UK 
Mindfulness Session (outdoors)
7 August (2-3pm) at The Calthorpe Community Gardens 
Relationships and HIV - a group for women with facilitator Louise Vallace
14 August 5-8pm at Positively UK 
Gardening Class with Horticulture Therapist Mila
14 August (2-4pm) at The Calthorpe Community Gardens 
Gay Social: Drinks
15 August (tbc)
Mindfulness Session (outdoors)
21 August (2-3pm) at The Calthorpe Community Gardens 
(tickets at £10 each) 
26 August 2pm at Queen's Theatre, Billet Ln, Hornchurch RM11 1QT 
 Gay Men's Wellbeing: Yoga Nidra Workshop
27 August at Positively UK
Gardening Class with the holticulture therapist Mila  
28 August (2-4pm) at at The Calthorpe Community Gardens
Outdoor Mindfulness Session
4 September (2-3pm) at Calthorpe Community Gardens
Gay Talk 
7 September (12-4pm) at Positively UK
Plants, Seeds and Cutting Swap 
11 September (2-4pm) at Calthorpe Community Gardens 
Gay Social: Cinema Night
19 September from 6:30pm at Positively UK 
Donate to Positively UK
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Positively UK is a Registered Charity: 1007685 02077130444

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