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April - May 2015
It’s been an exciting and busy time over the last couple of months at Positively UK. Last month we were delighted to be awarded two Patient Experience Network National Awards for our peer support work.  These awards are highly competitive, and recognise the hard work of our staff and volunteers in supporting others living with HIV.  Now with funding from the Big Lottery we’re developing our gay men’s work and planning is underway for the third Biennial Conference of People Living with HIV in September 2015; we’ll be building on our successes to reach even more people living with HIV.
Allan Anderson - Chief Executive
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One Voice: Conference of People Living with HIV - 2015


Positively UK are very proud to announce that we will be running the National Conference of people living with HIV again this year. This year the conference will be titled One Voice and will be on Saturday 12th September.  The venue will again be the Congress Centre in London.

We are busy drawing up an exciting and engaging programme, and we are sure this conference will be the best one yet!

If you'd like to register your interest please email conference@positivelyuk.org

Statement on PrEP


In light of the recent publication of the PROUD and IPERGAY study results, Positively UK have released a statment on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).  We welcome the findings from the studies on the effectivness of PrEP as a tool for HIV prevention amoung gay men and men who have sex with men.  We join other UK based HIV and LGBT organisations in urging the NHS to speed up the approval process and make PrEP available.

We recognise that HIV is complex area, and that PrEP should be used as part of a wider range of interventions including sex and reproductive education at appropriate ages including within schools, condom distribution, psychosexual support, Treatment as Prevention for people living with HIV, health and social care to reduce risk and vulnerability.

We also urge more research be undertaken on the implementation of PrEP on key populations and other vulnerable group such as women and migrants, as well as the necessity of education on PrEP, both to raise awareness and to ensure people can make informed choices, including implications of its long-term use.

You can read the whole statement on our website here...

Upcoming Events at Positively  UK


Every Monday until 27th April
Yoga for People Living with HIVintroductory yoga class.


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.

1st Saturday of every month
GayTalkgroup support workshops of gay men/MSM.

Saturday 25th April
Activity Tour 2015 - Chill Out Space for young people living with HIV

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

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


Saturday 30th May
Activity Tour 2015 - Life Coaching for young people living with HIV

 
Welfare benefits sessions available by appointment.

Janet’s* Story with Positively UK


On the 22 January 2014 I discovered that I was HIV positive.  I could not believe the words “Your HIV test came back positive” coming out of the nurse’s mouth.  Or at least I did not want to hear them because they were making my fear and desolation become reality.

While I was on my way to the clinic that day I could not help but thinking about Charlotte Valendrey, a beautiful French actress who became HIV positive when she was only 18 in the late eighties. So I guess I just knew what would happen next once arriving at the clinic and waiting for the specialist nurse to give me her verdict.

Some days later and with the support of close friends I decided to take “’the bull by the horns” and to seek the help of a support group.  This is how I attended The Recently Diagnosed workshop at Positively UK.  Little did I know at that point that I was about to meet my “new family of blood”.  At the end of the two days workshop I left Positively UK’s premises with a smile on my face which I thought I had lost forever.

The sudden death of my so beloved Dad four weeks later came as a complete shock, anger and despair to my family and I, but once again my 'new family of blood' proved it right too.  I found salvation through the “Positive Self-Management Programme” over six weeks they offered me to attend, this time I was really convinced that I wanted and needed to give something back to my “new community”.

People need to know that help is available out there, they don’t need to be alone or believe they are alone, they are not. Non-Profit Organisations are of the utmost importance, to me Positively UK literally allowed me not to sink and to discover who I really was, and also to laugh again and live my life with more serenity than ever before.

If this is what it is to be positive, well I am proud of my community and to be part of it, and this too, needs to be said.
 
*Name changed to protect confidentiality

We’re recruiting a new Gay Men’s Case Worker


We are now recruiting a peer case worker, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to lead and expand on our work with gay men and MSM. This will include provision of one-to-one support, groups and workshops for gay men and MSM living with HIV, managing a team of volunteer peer mentors, and creating links and referral pathways with other agencies.

The gay men’s case worker is an exciting new role at Positively UK, and is pivotal in the implementation of our 5-year strategy and provides the post hold with an opportunity to shape and develop the project.

For more information, and to find out how to apply, look on our website here...

PEN National Award Winners!


In case you missed our special edition newsletter, Positively UK won two PEN National Awards for 2014.  The first award in the Personalisation of Care category identifies organisation that treat patients as individuals, with compassion and supporting their physical and emotional needs.  Positively UK won for our programme of peer support delivered for and by people living with HIV.  Through this we have supported people to better manage their HIV, improve their emotional well-being and gain valuable life skills.  We are incredibly pleased to get this recognition for our work, beating out stiff competition from NHS Trusts and hospitals.

The second award was for best Overall Third Sector Organisation, out of all the finalists across all categories.
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Positively UK is a Registered Charity: 1007685