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Positively UK appoints a new CEO

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Positively UK is excited to announce the appointment of Silvia Petretti as the new CEO

Silvia joined Positively UK in 1999  as volunteer in the Community Development Team, providing treatment information to women attending HIV clinics. Soon she became a staff member leading on support for women with drug and alcohol issues and providing outreach in Holloway prison. Since then Silvia has worked in many roles as a manager, from setting up PozFem, the first national women’s network, developing new activists through the Taking Part Project and the recent Changing Perceptions campaign. For the past six years Silvia has lead in her role as Deputy CEO. Silvia has also represented people with HIV on the British HIV Association (BHIVA) board, between 2008 and 2011, chaired the UK CAB and represented the Global Network of People Living with HIV at the UN. Silvia has been living with HIV for 22 years.

Silvia Petretti, CEO

Silvia said “I am delighted to have been appointed CEO, I know, from personal experience that, peer support, sharing our experiences with others in the same situation, can be an incredible tool for personal growth and better health. I also believe that peer support is instrumental for social change and ensuring that as people living with HIV, we have the knowledge, connections and confidence to influence decision making and improve quality of life. I am honoured and excited to work with everyone at Positively UK, to implement our new strategy”.

Paul Decle, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Positively UK said:“Silvia’s appointment as CEO is natural step for Silvia and Positively UK. Over 20 years Silvia has distinguished herself as an outstanding advocate for the rights of people living with HIV and the quality of their care. She is an excellent ambassador for Positively UK and has played a key driving role in the success we have enjoyed in delivering peer to peer support services to the people who need it”.


Follow Silvia on Twitter or read her blog here.


We are looking for a web developer!

Friday, January 4th, 2019

We are going to refresh and add some cool vibes to our website shortly. If you happen to be passionate about web design or photography, check our call for proposals here.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Positively UK will be closed during the Christmas week and on New Year’s Day (24th – 31st December).

We are back on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Thank you for all your support and participation during 2018! We wish you all very happy and prosperous 2019!

Women’s Christmas Party!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Women’s Christmas Party

Proudly Undetectable

Friday, July 13th, 2018

 

Positively UK, staff, service users, peer mentors and associates strutted through the streets of central London on Saturday 7th July for Pride in London. David – Peer youth worker,  organiser of Positively UK at Pride in London this year, tells us how it went and why Pride still matters to us.

 

 

It was a bright sunny day, perhaps too much so, but armed with sun screen and litres of water we congregated before the march in Regents Park. Everyone was in bright spirits and it was great to see such a mix of people involved. There were staff, peer mentors, service users, family and friends, turning up one by one. We put on a bunch of Positively UK t-shirts, pride coloured face paints, copious lashings of glitter and soaked up the great atmosphere of the event, as we got ready. We unfurled our Positively UK flags, and our banner that we would carry throughout the march which proclaimed: ‘Proudly Undetectable.’

We marched from Park Crescent, Regents Park, through the 1.5-mile route ending in Trafalgar square. The streets were lined with a crowd, estimated at close to a million supporters, cheering, waving and giving support. We made a statement that HIV is not over in 2018, and we do not sit quietly, but march through the streets.

The theme of pride this year was PRIDE MATTERS. Today in the UK, (mostly) equal rights do not mean real equality and justice for all. Hate crimes towards LGBT+ people, on the streets of London, have doubled in the last 5 years. Still today 75% of LGBT+ people fear showing affection in public for fear of retribution and violence. In Northern Ireland there is still heavy discrimination with same sex marriage being outlawed. Around the world it is still illegal in 72 countries to engage in same sex relations, and in 10 of those it can carry the death sentence. Transgender individuals around the world face truly inhumane levels of violence and discrimination. Trans people have the highest level of HIV, with abysmal access to health services including HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care. We have a long way to go.

On the march, passing the cheering crowds I was pondering something to myself. If you would have asked me in my first few years post-diagnosis, if I would walk with my head held high, wearing a t-shirt saying, ‘proudly undetectable’, holding a banner with the same text, I would have said ABSOLUTELY  NOT. However, times change. I was not the young man, terrified by my diagnosis a few years ago. I am proud of what I have achieved through volunteering in peer support and subsequently working with Positively UK.

So, for myself personally It was a milestone on my journey living with HIV. I have a choice, when looking at my diagnosis, to live in pride or in shame.

Marching at Pride as an openly HIV positive person reinforced in myself the belief that the only shame in living with HIV, is that which society and others place on us. We write our own stories, and last Saturday I put my shame to rest.