This is an issue of the Positive Action newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to recieve this regularly in your email, please click here

Christmas Edition for 2016

Important Notice

From January 2017 Positive Action will begin changing. Present services are ending and will be replaced with staff-led workshops and peer-led support (support that is given voluntarily, by people living with HIV).

Drop-in sessions in Aldershot, Southampton and Portsmouth, and one-to-one support will continue until March 2017, when they will all end. During these months we will also work to support you through the changes according to your personal circumstances.

Having lost almost all of our funding in recent months, the new Positive Action will focus on greater self-management, which has been developed to best reflect the realities of living with HIV today, as identified through the consultation that we carried out in Spring 2016.

In March 2017 the peer-mentoring programme (Project 100) will begin as planned. Later on, the staff-led workshops will offer opportunities for you to meet up as we aim to support you to establish sustainable, local peer-support groups across Hampshire and Surrey.

The new Positive Action will be co-ordinated by a smaller team of paid staff so, regrettably, redundancy of the current staff team is unavoidable.

The Trustees will be holding meetings during drop-ins in January - 5th in Southampton, 6th in Aldershot and 10th in Portsmouth - to discuss the changes and to explain how you can be a part of the new Positive Action. They will address any concerns you may have. In the meantime, please contact the team if you would like more information.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Hellawell

On behalf of The Board of Trustees

'Talking about HIV' Workshops

Talking about HIV

Service users are invited to join some additional workshops about speaking to others about living with HIV -this could include family, friends or employers.  If  this workshop interests you then please contact a member of the team or book your place by email at or Freephone 0800-980-1990.

The dates are:-

Southampton - Thursday 12th January 2017 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Aldershot - Friday 13th January 2017 11:00am to 12:00pm

Portsmouth - Tuesday 17th January 2017 5:30pm to 6:30pm            

There are no expectations, obligations and despite the seriousness of the subject plus there will be fun!

The discussions will include:

¨ How (when and if) to disclose in an educational role

¨ Some basic HIV facts

¨ Tips on speaking to groups

¨ An exploration of attitudes to HIV

¨ And even tips on using Power Point

NAT Welcome New HIV Prevention Drug Funding After Court Win


NHS England has announced funding for a major new clinical trial using PrEP as a means of preventing new HIV infections amongst high risk groups.

This step towards a full national roll out of PrEP comes after NAT (National AIDS Trust) pursued litigation in the High Court (and successfully defended its initial win in the Court of Appeal) against NHS England to clarify the role of NHS England in HIV prevention.

Evidence for the clinical effectiveness of PrEP is overwhelming. The clinical trial will aim to answer questions about how to best implement the treatment in a full nation roll-out.  It will include at least 10,000 participants over the next three years and pave the way for a full and effective roll-out.  

National AIDS Trust (NAT) commented how absolutely delighted they are that following the wins in Court, NHS England, working with Public Health England and local government will be now making PrEP available on a large scale, and quickly, to those who need it. 

NAT continue to seek reassurance that access to PrEP will not be unduly limited by geography, that routine commissioning will continue seamlessly at the end of the trial and that all those expected to be eligible through routine commissioning will be able to access PrEP via the trial. Despite these outstanding questions, there is no doubt that this step in the right direction has the potential to have a transformative impact for thousands of people, as well as prove the decisive point in beginning to combat the HIV crisis, all whilst saving the NHS money in the long term. They are also looking forward to working alongside NHS England, Public Health England and local authorities with the simple shared aim of reducing new HIV infections.

Potential Closure of the Sussex Beacon

We understand thst the Sussex Beacon is the latest in a number of services to be under threat of closure.  Lynette Lowndes, Chair of Trustees of the Beacon  said, “Despite fantastic community support and recently being rated ‘outstanding’ by the health regulator, The Sussex Beacon cannot survive the latest statutory funding budget cuts. The trustees have regretfully concluded that the charity is facing the very real risk of closing its services which, if it happens, is likely to occur next June. This is devastating for both our service users and our amazing team of staff and volunteers. Our primary focus will be on supporting them in the coming months and looking for ways to avoid closure of services.”

Sussex beacon

Adolescents living with HIV

Developing and Strengthening Care and Support Services

UNICEF have commissioned CHIVA (Children's HIV Association) to produce a handbook (Click here), which contains practical guidance and approaches to work with adolescents with HIV.

HIV and Young People

News from...




Drop-in services at Southampton, Aldershot and Portsmouth will continue until 31st March 2017.

Our staff team is available in the office Monday to Friday 9:30 to 17:30 although appointments can be made outside these hours by prior arrangement.


  • Friday drop-ins run every week (from 10:00 until 16:00) with lunch served at 1pm.

  • Marcela is available for appointments in the Centre or in the community on Monday evenings.

  • Ruth Sim (from Buryfields Clinic) and Julie Barker (from Crown Heights and Aldershot Clinics) are available to meet with you in the Centre if you'd like to discuss your health or medications.

  • Contact Marcela for more information or to book appointments -


  • Thursday drop-ins run every week (from 14:00 until 20.30) with supper served at 7pm.
  • Katrina West (Humpreys) is available to meet you in the Centre if you have questions about your health or medications.

  • Contact Russell for more information or to book appointments -


  • Tuesday drop-ins run every week (from 16:00 until 19:00).
  • Jane Butt and Ynez Symonds are available at drop-in to discuss your mental wellbeing, your physical health and your medications.

  • Contact Russell for more information and to book appointments -

Dates for your Diary

Diary dates

Please check the website regularly for dates for upcoming events.

  • Christmas lunch in Aldershot, Friday 23rd December 12-3pm.
  • There are three opportunities for service users to informally talk to Trustees about the forthcoming changes.
  • Three workshops are planned on "Talking About HIV" in January, one for each centre.

Thank you

Local Community Support

Thank you to everyone who supported our World AIDS Day campaign and helped us to raise over £1,000.

We were very appreciative to have received support and donations from the Charity Lunch Club of the Parish of St.Mary, Portsea, commuters at Southampton railway station; pupils at Southdown College; students at Solent University; visitors to Haslemere Charity Fair; customers at Locks Heath Waitrose store; patrons of Stage Door, Southampton; customers of the London Hotel, Southampton; staff at Police HQ; pupils at Peter Symonds College and Alton College.

Our sincere thanks to you for the valuable support you have shown.

SURE Information

The SURE group is made up of service users and we meet every two months with a member of staff at one of the drop-ins.

All service users are welcome to come along and find out what the group do.

Service user representatives:

Aldershot: Robert

Portsmouth: Mike 

Southampton: Morgan

Would you like to be a service user rep? We are a friendly group, passionate about improving the lives of people living with HIV. If you are interested speak to Russell, Marcela or Brian at one of the centres.

Note from the staff team - We would like to extend our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Jane who will be stepping away from SURE at the end of the year and, for all of her energy and considerable input into making SURE the success that it is.

Positive experience

Many factors have combined to turn me from a mere ‘survivor’ to someone who sees himself as thriving with – and arguably, as a direct result of – my diagnosis with HIV.

Possibly the greatest of these is the support I received to help me through the desperately challenging experience of having a partner who had a severe drinking problem. The relationship was back in the late 1980s when I had been living with HIV for about 5 years. It lasted a little over a year and I didn’t actively seek help for myself until the early 90s. As for the change in me, far from happen overnight. It took the best part of ten years and I would suggest is still on-going. It also didn’t happen by chance, it took some considerable input from others and effort on my part.

So what was involved? Well, first I had to understand what I was dealing with. In terms of my ex-partner’s alcoholism, I read up on problem drinking and its effect on family and friends. I regularly met with others who had been similarly affected and with them explored the specifics of how I had reacted to the situation. Through this I gradually learned to be honest with myself about my own strengths and failings – plenty of good intentions but often my energies very ineffectively targeted.

You can perhaps begin to see how this relates to me and my life with HIV. I learned to see alcoholism as an illness (not a lack of morals or willpower), accept my ex as ‘ill’ rather than pathetic or hopeless and really look at myself – my attitudes, behaviours and actions.

And there was the rub. The person diagnosed with HIV was already set in his ways. I was judgemental – and just as I judged my ex, I had judged myself. HIV, with all its associated stigma, had only added to the problem. And the problem wasn’t my ex-partner. It wasn’t the doctors who diagnosed me, the system that had failed me or even the ‘rubbish hand’ that life had dealt me… the problem was me, or at least within me.

Over the years I have gone from being my own worst enemy to my own best friend. I’m an OK person. No saint – but no sinner either. Not perfect but a perfectly flawed ‘work in progress’.

Positive Action offers people living with HIV the opportunity to meet with others similarly affected, talk openly about their situation and explore its impact on their lives. The tools are there. What you do with those tools, even whether you choose to pick them up, is up to you.

Peter H.

Looking for Help Online?

You might be aware that we don't currently have a CAB Advisor in-house. You may not be aware however, that there is a lot of information available on-line to support individuals to help themselves.    Visit to see how easy it is.

There is also an option where you may "Webchat" with a member of the general CAB team. 

For more help, please contact Russell or Marcela

Citizens Advice

Trading Standards' Top Festive Tips

Don't be duped this Christmas!

Hampshire County Council have produced some tips to avoid disapointment this Christmas and beyond. Please click here

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Southampton City Council is asking for residents' opinions on a new Financial Strategy for 2017/18 to 2020/21, together with draft budget proposals for the next four years.

Over the last five years, the Council has already made £92.4 million savings but by 2020/21, they have to save another £42.3 million. This is because the main grant that Southampton City Council receive from central government will be reduced by 55% and, will be phased out by 2019/20.

It is from this money that Positive Action currently receives a contract worth £33,000 per year. This contract has been included in the proposed cuts which, if agreed, will mean that there will be no funding to provide HIV support services in Southampton. 

A final set of proposals will be presented to the Southampton City Council Cabinet on 14 February 2017, and Full Council on 15 February 2017 for final decision to set the budget and council tax.

To have your say and to comment on these proposals, please visit

Please complete the online questionnaire by 24 January 2017


Forthcoming HIV Conferences:

23rd Annual Conference of the British HIV Association: 4-7 April 2017, Liverpool

11th Annual Conference of the Children's HIV Association: 12 May 2017, Liverpool

19th Annual Conference of the National HIV Nurses Association: 22-23 June 2017, Bristol

Please click above on underlined event for more information.


The team at Positive Action wish you a very

Merry Christmas

and a happy and prosperous 2017


Positive Action will be closed from 3pm on Friday 23rd December 2016 and will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Christmas 2016 image

Stop the cuts

© Positive Action 2016