- The evidence of peer support, the benefits for people living with HIV, for the NHS and social care, and for the system are clear. We now need action to ensure peer support services in HIV are retained, and those at risk of closure, safeguarded
- Government should send clear signals to local government and health services about the value of Peer to Peer support in sustainably improving outcomes in HIV
- Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships should address HIV services and peer support within their plans
- Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups should be given a clear mandate to commission HIV peer support services, as they do with other long-term conditions
- GPs and other healthcare providers should promote access to peer support through social prescribing
- Where peer support has been decommissioned it should be funded and reinstated as a priority
- The local community of people living with HIV should be involved in developing and delivering these services
As part of a series of events to mark our 30th Anniversary, Positively UK have published a new report into the effectiveness of peer support.
The report was launched at an event co-hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV in Portcullis House on 27 November in Westminster. Hosted by Stephen Doughty MP, Chair of the APPG, the launch also heard from Allan Anderson, CEO of Positively UK, Dr Ian Williams from Mortimer Market and Becky, a peer mentor from Blue Sky Trust in Newcastle.
In the thirty years since Positively UK was founded, peer to peer support has helped to transform the lives of people with HIV. Living with and managing HIV can be challenging for many people. Whether it’s coming to terms with a new diagnosis, starting or changing treatment, managing relationships or talking about HIV. Peer support is a proven to be an effective way of enabling people with HIV to live well and manage their HIV. The report sets out the benefits of peer support for people living with HIV, impact up the system in terms of reducing demand on health and social care services and savings to the system.
The report concludes with a call to action for National Government to champion peer support and provide a clear mandate for the provision of HIV peer support with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups. It also demands services that have been decommissioned be funded and reinstate as a priority and local communities of people living with HIV be involved in developing and delivering these services.