Our support services empower people to live well with HIV. This includes support on physical and mental health wellbeing and other factors that impact people’s lives such as financial and welfare issues.
Our Hardship Fund offers small grants to people living with HIV in the UK who are in severe financial need. The Fund aims to support those clients who are experiencing the greatest level of hardship, such as with basic living expenses, a period of ill health, change in accommodation, or losing a job.
Since 2019 to date, out of 943 individuals who’ve applied to the Hardship Fund, 535 (57%) were from Black communities.
Work and skills
Supporting people living with HIV into meaningful work is a priority for us. Through one-to-one mentoring, online learning and webinars, we help participants who have been out of work to build confidence, learn new skills, apply for and secure work. The programme can also help people living with HIV to set professional development goals and change careers.
Between April 2018 to March 2020, a third of participants in our work programme were from Black communities.
THT Direct is our national helpline where our advisers provide information and emotional support if individuals are worried about their sexual health or have concerns about living with HIV. We help them access local services across the UK, whether provided by us or by someone else.
Individuals can contact us to find out about:
- Testing for HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.
- Accessing PrEP or PEP.
- HIV transmission.
- Any other questions about improving their sexual health.
From April 2019 to June 2021, THT Direct handled nearly 21,150 enquiries. 1,750 individuals (8.3%) identified as from Black or mixed Black ethnicities.
My Community Forum
My Community Forum is a free, welcoming online safe place to meet other people living with HIV in UK. Moderated by peers living with HIV, members of the forum can share knowledge and experience with others and ask any questions you may have about living well with HIV. We cover all topics from your rights to healthy eating. Members can chat via private message and group message to give or receive peer support.
Peer Support Scotland
In 2017, we launched Peer Support Scotland to enable people to live well with blood-borne viruses. The project supports people living with both HIV and hepatitis C and is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
We designed a diverse array of workshops and activities to enhance people’s skills and make them more resilient.
Nearly half of regular attendees to the national women’s support group programme are from Black communities, as are a number of individuals who access welfare support.
Peer Support Scotland works to complement other local HIV services for Black communities in Scotland, including through partnership with Waverly Care. In 2020, we ran joint workshops to promote social support, wellbeing, sexual health, and to deal with barriers people were facing during lockdowns. A joint project enabled us to provide free iPads and Wi-Fi for a year to service users in need, who could also get support living with HIV. Waverly Care also referred a number of services users to access our Hardship Fund.
Here in Vitality
Here in Vitality is a workshop for people living with HIV to help them address the challenging aspects of their diagnosis, identify strengths and resilience, unpack terminology and its impact, and to increase self-acceptance. It was successfully delivered to people from Black communities in southern England in partnership with Africa Advocacy Foundation.