Many people living with HIV manage their condition well and do not need any support. However people’s care needs can change.
HIV is classified as disability from the point of diagnosis (Disability Discrimination Act 2005). Many people with HIV may not consider themselves to be disabled.
You are not expected to be an expert in HIV. Some knowledge of HIV, how it affects the body, routes of transmission and treatment would be helpful. Our website has a lot of information that you may find useful or you could call THT Direct.
HIV is different to other long term health conditions because of the stigma associated with it. When you are supporting somebody living with HIV it is essential that you work in a non judgemental manner.
People living with HIV can experience a number of issues.
Inadequate or poor housing can impact on people’s health. The housing charity Shelter provides information about all aspects of housing. THT Direct can provide information for people living with HIV, who are having housing difficulties.
People living with HIV may be entitled to apply for benefits. The government website www.directgov.uk explains benefits and entitlements. THT Direct may be able to support people who are having problems with their benefits.
Anybody who wishes to claim asylum should seek specialist advice. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner provides details of immigration advisers. The Refugee Council Information Service online provides details about immigration and the asylum process.
The Disability Discrimination Act (2005) and the Equality Act (2010) strengthened the rights of people living with HIV at work. If you are working with somebody who is having difficulties at work THT Direct can provide information and advice.
Thanks to advances in medication and early diagnosis, people are living much longer with HIV. Information about HIV and ageing can be found at in the myHIV section of this site.
Children and HIV
For information about children and HIV see the myHIV The Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) supports children with HIV and their families.
People living with HIV may experience a range of mental health issues. We can offer counselling from one of our offices or online counselling.
Some people find it helpful to talk to somebody else living with HIV. People can sign up to the myHIV Community forum where they can talk anonymously online to other people with HIV.
We run support groups for people who are newly diagnosed; THT Direct can provide details of the nearest support group.