A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Positively UK is a national organisation which aims to protect the health and well-being of people living with HIV by providing tailored peer support, promoting positive attitudes and equitable access to health for people living with HIV. Positively UK advance education and research about health, particularly in relation to HIV and campaign against HIV discrimination, increasing the involvement, voice and visibility of people living with HIV in all aspects of life. Positively UK provides peer-led support, advocacy and information to everyone living with HIV to effectively manage any aspect of their diagnosis, care and life with HIV. We believe that people living with HIV are best placed to advocate for their own needs. Working in partnership with the NHS, our peer work is integrated at 12 clinics across London. We run a range of peer-led support groups for women, heterosexual men and women and gay men. We host events and workshops for recently diagnosed people – those who are planning parenthood or currently pregnant, including talks with activists, clinicians and life coaches with the purpose of supporting people and help them meet peers and form meaningful friendships. We offer training to people with HIV to deliver efficient peer support and collaborate with clinics and voluntary organisations around the UK to establish peer support programmes.
We aim to influence policy and decision makers in order to improve systems and services for people living with HIV. We host events such as the biennial Conference of People Living with HIV and are a stakeholder of NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group. Our staff are community representative on the Independent Advisory Group on AIDS, the National HIV Nurses Association, London Fast Track Cities Initiative the UKCAB, and the World Health Organisation Advisory Board on Women and HIV.
Our front-line services are provided by trained staff and volunteers who are living with HIV and best placed to support others, by using their personal and practical understanding of the health and social implications of living with a long-term condition that still carries stigma within society. Currently 85% of our staff team, including our CEO and 95% of our volunteers are living with HIV. By our constitution, at least half our board of trustees must also be living with HIV. As members of the organisation, beneficiaries are responsible for agreeing annual accounts and electing the board of trustees at our Annual General Meeting.
In 1987 two women living with HIV, after finding that no services for women existed, took matters into their own hands, placing hand-drawn posters at clinics and inviting other women to meet in their living room. From this, the charity Positively Women was founded, with its ethos of peer led support. Over time new communities came seeking peer-led support including parents, heterosexual men, newly diagnosed gay men, and young people. Today we still we believe that the emotional and practical needs of people living with HIV can only be truly understood and addressed by the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV. Now Positively UK, our peer support services for women, men and young people sit alongside our campaigning and policy work to improving services and care for people living with HIV in the UK.
Meet OUR TEAM
Our front-line services are provided by people living with HIV, who are best placed to support others, using their personal and practical understanding of the health and social implications of living with HIV.