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      News From The Eddystone Trust

      Aidsmap Release Living With HIV Video Series for Women

      Aidsmap Release Living With HIV Video Series for Women

      Our colleagues at Aidsmap have released a series of videos that look at issues facing women living with HIV.  We thought we would share them with you as they tackle some of the issues relating to HIV that people face in everyday life.

      We've embeeded them below for you to have a look at and remember if you need to reach out to us for advice on any issues relating to HIV or your sexual health then you can do so by emailing info@eddystone.org.uk or ringing 0800 328 3508 

       

      International Women's Day 2021 - we choose to challenge HIV related stigma

      International Women's Day 2021 - we choose to challenge HIV related stigma

      International Women's Day is on Monday March the 8th and this year's theme is all about choosing to challenge gender inequalities in society.

      So with that in mind, The Eddystone Trust are choosing to challenge HIV related stigma in an effort to overcome the disparities that exist with HIV diagnoses between men and women. Unfortunately, the impact of discrimination continues to detrimentally affect outcomes for women in many areas of life including in relation to HIV.

      In short this issue is down to multiple complex issues including (but not exclusively):

      • Gaps in health care provision
      • A lack of understanding about issues affecting women
      • Women are less likely to access testing than men
      • Having open dialogue about sex


      We are not choosing to challenge HIV related stigma in women because it's International Women's Day, we are choosing to challenge HIV related stigma because we know we still have a long way to go in recognising women when it comes to tackling HIV and we are committed to fighting this stigma 365 days a year.

      With that in mind please share our message that:

      HIV testing is simple, free and easy to access.  You can even order a test online with us today by visiting the following webpage:

       HIV Testing Information

      If you feel the need to reach out to us on the above issues then please feel free to email us on info@eddystone.org.uk or call us on 0800 328 5308


       

      It's A Win - Improved Vaccine Rollout for People Living WIth HIV

      It's A Win - Improved Vaccine Rollout for People Living WIth HIV

      People living with HIV in England will no longer need to disclose their status to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Policy changes are being brought in after concerns were raised about the impact this would have on people living with HIV.

      NHS England will now allow HIV clinics to refer patients for a COVID-19 jab without notifying their GP.  Whereas before people living with HIV would have needed to reveal their status to a GP to receive the vaccination, which raised concerns over patients being on the receiving end of HIV related stigma within the healthcare system.

      People living with HIV will now receive the jab in phase six of the roll-out, after people aged over 65, due to the associated immunosuppression risk.

      The Eddystone Trust actively encourage people living with HIV to share their status with their GP as this should ensure a ‘joined up’ approach to HIV health care, however we understand that this is not the case for everyone so as an organisation we fully support the new guidelines.   

      For more information on this subject visit:

      Covid-19 vaccines: NHS England allows people with HIV to access jabs without informing a GP (inews.co.uk)

       How we improved the COVID vaccine rollout for people living with HIV | Terrence Higgins Trust (tht.org.uk)

      If you feel you need to reach out to us about HIV or sexual health then please do not hesitate to contact us on info@eddystone.org.uk or 0800 328 3508

      The Eddystone Trust in Worcester

      The Eddystone Trust in Worcester

      We just wanted to let you know the good news that The Eddystone Trust are now working in Worcester to raise engagement within the community around online HIV testing and signposting people to sexual health clinics in the area.

      Therefore if you live in and around Worcester you might come across our work or staff conducting engagement activities on apps, websites and groups.  We’re a friendly bunch though so no need to worry!!!

      If you feel you want to know your sexual health status then below are some links where you can get sexual advice, or access to online testing in Worcester.

      Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sexual Health Clinic - Online Testing, PrEP, Condoms & Lube

      SH:24.ORG - Online Sexual Health Testing

      BioSURE - Online HIV Testing

      If you have any questions or worries then you can also reach out to us on info@eddystone.org.uk or 0800 328 3508

      People Living With HIV - Shielding Information & COVID-19 Update

      People Living With HIV - Shielding Information & COVID-19 Update

      The Eddystone Trust have had reports that some people who are Living With HIV have received letters advising them that they are now on the shielding list and as a result are being asked to shield during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

      This news has come out of the blue for many and the letters could understandably be a cause of concern for those who have received them.  Our staff are currently looking into this situation and are trying to obtain the best advice/information for People Living with HIV in relation to the Coronavirus.

      We understand that this could be very unsettling, if you have received a message to shield and you have any concerns please talk to your clinic or GP

      PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK FOR GOVERNMENT ADVICE ON SHIELDING

      We'll do our upmost to get the most up to date information on Coronavirus for anyone who is living with HIV so please do keep an eye on our social media channels and website for updates.

      If you have any questions or worries then you can also reach out to us on info@eddystone.org.uk or 0800 328 3508

      It's A Sin - A roaring success or missed opportunity?

      It's A Sin - A roaring success or missed opportunity?

      I think it's fair to say that we at The Eddystone Trust binged watched It's A Sin, and like the millions of people who also tuned in we also found the series utterly gripping, heart breaking and nostalgic all in the same breath.  To say the show was a brave move by Channel 4 is an understatement.    

      Never before have we seen a prime time TV show cover themes such as Living with HIV, LGBTQ relationships, sexual health and homophobia in such an honest and candid way.  But, despite the shows success we can't help ask whether or not the show was a missed opportunity?

      Despite being a fairly accurate depiction of the HIV/Aids Pandemic in the 1980's we can't help but feel that the show could have done something to promote how far we've come in regards to understanding and treating HIV in the years since the pandemic.  

      Many people diagnosed with HIV can and do live healthy and normal lives with the help of medication.  With the right medication someone who is HIV positive can also reduce their viral load to an untransmissible state, meaning that they can no longer pass the virus on via condomless sex (or any means) if they keep up their medication.  How many people who watched the show know this?  A simple explanation of the U=U (undetectable = untransmissible) message could have gone a long way to overcoming the all too common misnomer that HIV is a 'death sentence'..

      That's not to say that HIV is a thing of the past, there are still people and communities that are disproportionately  affected by HIV - In particular, men who have sex with men, black African people and Women.  Almost half of new diagnoses come from the 'straight' community. 

      It's hard to be critical of the show given it's brave portrayal of the pandemic, and that is not our intention.  But now that the topic of HIV is once again in people's consciousness we hoped it has helped spark a wider conversation that could elevate some of the stigma that was prevalent in It's a Sin that still exists in society today about HIV.


      Want to hear more about what we thought of the show?  Then listen to James and Tracey review the series in our brand new podcast Colours of Life by clicking the link below.