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December 2015 - January 2016
Welcome to the World AIDS Day edition of our newsletter.  Today we know that there are now over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK.  Today we know that 18,000 of those living with HIV are untested and don’t know their status.  Today, in the aftermath of the spending review, we know that HIV testing and support services face their biggest challenge to date.  It is also today we publish The Manifesto of People Living with HIV.  Developed from the discussions and debates at the National Conference in September, The Manifesto represents the diverse communities living with HIV in the UK.  It demonstrates the leadership of people living with HIV, a call to tackle HIV-related stigma, the need for a new approach to HIV prevention, and sets out a challenge to leaders across our communities, local authorities, parliament, faith groups and healthcare to take responsibility and work collaboratively with the HIV community to support the rights, health and well-being of all.
Allan Anderson - Chief Executive
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The Manifesto of People Living with HIV


Positively UK are very proud to present The Manifesto of People Living with HIV!  This manifesto is the result of the discussions at the third biennial Conference of People Living with HIV, which was attended by over 100 people living with HIV from across the UK.  This Manifesto brings together the views of the diverse communities of people living with HIV on the challenges faced in daily life, health and care needs, and hopes for the future.

This Manifesto shines a spotlight on these issues. It is a campaign for change identified by the community of people living with HIV. It is a platform for discussion between people living with HIV, people affected by HIV, health and social care providers, policy makers, decision takers, community leaders and beyond. It is a foundation for collaboration to identify and implement solutions to ensure everyone living with HIV has the best possible health and well-being.

Project 100


Project 100 is our national programme that aims to provide all people living with HIV access to peer support wherever they live in the UK.  We are working with HIV clinics, third sector organisations and patient groups in order to train 1,000 people across the UK to become peer mentors.

We are incredibly excited to announce that we have now launched the new website to support this project!

This provides in depth information for HIV clinics, organisations and patient groups and people looking to become peer mentors themselves.  Organisations and people can directly contact us through the new website, making it even easier for you to get involved in the project and help every person living with HIV in the UK access high quality peer support.

Upcoming Workshops


Every Monday
Yoga for People Living with HIVintroductory yoga class.


30th - 31st January 2016
Take Control, Learn, Connecta two day workshop for people recently diagnosed with HIV in the last 18 months.

 

Positively UK Groups


1st Wednesday of every month
Women’s Roomgroup support workshops for women.

1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month
Str8 Talkgroup support workshops for heterosexual men and women (with The River House Trust).

1st Saturday of every month
GayTalkgroup support workshops for gay and bisexual men.

3rd Thursday of every month
GayTalk Social a chance for gay and bisexual men to socialise with others living with HIV.

3rd Saturday of every month
African Support Groupsupport group for African men and women.

Last Wednesday of every month
Aged to Perfectionsupport group for people aged 50+.


Last Friday of every month
Let’s Talk Babiessocial and support group for mothers from expecting till their child is 4 years old.

 
Welfare & benefits sessions available by appointment.

Jim's Story of Testing HIV Positive


"It was early in 2014 and I was living in Brazil. One night when going to bed, I discovered a rash all over my upper body. The doctor I saw there didn’t seem to know what it was despite taking a blood test. The rash didn’t go away so eventually I decided to fly back to the UK and go straight to the sexual health clinic for tests.

"To be honest, I felt a sense of relief when I got the result of my HIV test. I’d been feeling anxious for nearly 6 weeks wondering what was wrong with me and although it was a big shock, it was good to finally have a firm diagnosis. The rash turned out to be syphilis and was easily treatable. The sensitivity in the way the clinic handled telling me about the HIV was exemplary. I couldn’t have been in better hands.

"I attended a recently diagnosed workshop with Positively UK who provided so much help with those questions about day to day living with HIV. Meeting others in a similar situation was invaluable in helping me realise that I wasn’t alone in the feelings I was experiencing.

"I’ve always been a very open and honest person and so I wanted to tell my family and friends. I was amazed and grateful for the support and understanding I received from every single one of them. Not a single bad reaction, which I guess surprised me. I think if more people realised that it’s possible to live a completely normal life with HIV, then attitudes to the virus would really start to shift."

WISE UP+


Positively UK in collaboration with the Sophia Forum, we ran the second Women Inspire, Support and Empower – Unleashing Positive Potential (WISE UP+) workshop in Manchester at the end of October.  The weekend was attended by 24 women living with HIV from all over the UK and aimed at skilling up women to develop an advocacy strategy and increase their advocacy skills.

The workshop included sessions on Gender Based violence, Women and HIV, Poetry for Activism, Sex and Intimacy, Direct Action, NHS Participation Structures, Yoga and Mindfulness.

In the words of a participant: "To be trained on how to bring about change in these areas of our lives was brilliant.  I like the fact that all participants are ready to challenge injustice against women living with HIV... I want to thank the facilitators for making the workshop possible.
 

Halve It


Positively UK were in parliament during National Testing Week meeting MPs and raising awareness of the need for HIV testing and support.  The event was organisation by Halve It, a coalition of agencies including Positively UK, the British HIV Association, Terrance Higgins Trust and Positive East.

The Halve It Coalition aims to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and late diagnosis of HIV.  The Positively UK team at the event included staff and service users presenting the need for MPs to promote better access to testing and the vital role of peer support in helping those with a positive diagnosis.
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Positively UK is a Registered Charity: 1007685