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19:38 | 16th August 2017

Lifestyle: Sex Life

Fri 3 Aug, 2012
By Robert Ingham


Positive 21 is a new peer support group for gay and bisexual men living with HIV

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GMFA opens HIV Support Group 'Positive 21'

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The outlook for gay men living with HIV has improved enormously over the last 15 years, as treatments have been developed which can reduce the damage that the virus has on the immune system. However the stigmatisation of HIV, from within the gay community as well as from outside of it, difficulties in disclosing status to sexual partners and on-going health concerns mean that many gay and bisexual men living with HIV still find that they need emotional support. Many gay and bisexual men living with HIV experience loneliness and find it difficult to seek the support they need from friends, family or work colleagues.

Positive 21 is a new peer support group for gay and bisexual men living with HIV.

Meeting every Monday evening at GMFA’s offices near Old Street, the group aims to provide support in a relaxed and friendly environment, helping its members address the issues faced by those living with the virus in the 21st Century.

The group was created by Michael A, an experienced and qualified trainer and peer-support group facilitator. Michael’s experience stretches back to his work as co-training officer at the London Lighthouse in the early ‘90s.

Positive 21’s priority is to create a safe space for people living with HIV, in a non-judgemental and confidential setting. The group aims to support all gay and bisexual men with HIV, from those who are newly diagnosed to those who have been living with the virus for years. The group aims to increase the knowledge its members have around HIV and HIV treatments, HIV services and to provide men with an increased ability to cope with the impact of having HIV.

Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, says: “The medical outlook for people living with HIV has changed considerably, and for the better, in the last few years, but for many, the emotional challenges remain. GMFA are committed to creating welcoming meeting spaces for a range of social and support groups and I am proud that one of the first groups that we host will provide much needed support for gay and bisexual men living with HIV.”

If you feel you could benefit from the group, visit www.positive21.org.uk for more information.

 

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