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HIV support services are being cut

HIV+ and living in Surrey or Hampshire, in Southampton or Portsmouth? Have your say and help inform the development of local services.

If you are living with HIV in Hampshire or Surrey, whether or not you've used our services, you can help. Only by knowing your needs can we shape support that is appropriate to you (and potentially others living with HIV).

Positive Action (PA) has been providing HIV support services to the local community for more than 21 years and has seen many changes. Whilst we celebrate the fact that medical advances mean that many people with HIV are now living well and for longer, we know that some of those living with HIV still have a range of support needs: both short-term – often immediately following diagnosis – and more long-term.

It is therefore with great reluctance that due to the confirmed loss of some funding and uncertainty surrounding some more, Positive Action has been forced to make some difficult decisions. Those having an immediate affect are:

  • In-house Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) Support – Our contract with CAB ended on Friday 8th April, when Ali left PA to take up a new role. We are unable to continue this service until we receive confirmation of future funding so in the meantime Russell and Marcela – both qualified Social Workers – will assist with welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment etc.
  • Aldershot drop-ins – Wednesday afternoon drop-ins will stop immediately, although staff will be available in the office, and appointments with Marcela can still be made for any work day, of outside working hours by prior arrangement.
  • Portsmouth drop-ins – will be carry on whilst we continue to seek alternative funding, but food and complimentary therapies will no longer be provided.

We are also reviewing opportunities to reduce our overheads (rent, running costs etc).

We apologise for the very short notice which is because of the delay to Positive Action receiving information about our Local Authority funding.

Your Support, Your Say!

We want to continue supporting you with what help you need, now and in the future. We are certain that we will be forced to make some more changes shortly so it is only by understanding your experiences and knowing your views on our services can PA guide development of future services that are appropriate to your needs (and potentially all people living with HIV in Hampshire and Surrey).

Our Chair has made a short film to explain how important this survey is

You can do this by completing our anonymous survey by 2nd May or, by joining a focus group or group discussion at drop-in, or by having an individual discussion with an independent specialist in person, or by phone.

PA have recruited a specialist (Ian Smith) to talk with you about our current services and your future needs. Ian is fully signed up to Positive Action's confidentiality policies, and worked very successfully with us last year on a sexual health consultation in Southampton. As Ian is independent of PA (not a Trustee or volunteer), you can be sure that your feedback will remain anonymous.

If you would prefer to speak to or meet with Ian you can contact him directly on 079 7108 8765 or iansmith.mgt-services@ntlworld.com.

Ian will be attending drop-in on the following days to introduce himself and to begin collecting your feedback:

Monday 11th7-10pmAldershot
Tuesday 12th4-7pmPortsmouth
Thursday 14th4.30-8.30pmSouthampton
Friday 15th11.30am-2.30pmAldershot

Ian will be running focus groups on the following dates and times:

Monday 18th8-9pmAldershot
Tuesday 19th5-6 pmPortsmouth
Thursday 21st6-7pmSouthampton
Friday 22nd2-3pmAldershot

For other service providers

We have a poster you can download and display to encourage HIV positive people in Surrey and Hampshire to fill in the survey. But please hurry as the survey only runs till the 2nd May.

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