Free activism workshops for people with HIV to be launched in UK

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust will launch activism workshops for people with HIV in the UK.

The free workshops to be held across the country are aimed at empowering people living with HIV to stand up for their rights and raise awareness of the issues that matter to them.

The first Activism & Involvement workshop will take place in Gloucester on Saturday 1st March.

Further workshops are planned in Scotland, Wales and the North of England.

The sexual health charity is also marking the third anniversary of its award-winning website myHIV.

So far more than 8,000 people with HIV have registered on the site, making it the largest network of people with the condition in the UK.

Since launch, a strong activism thread has emerged in the website’s forums, with increasing numbers of members finding ways to speak out publicly and call for better political and public understanding of the condition.

In 2012 Terrence Higgins Trust ran a successful pilot workshop in Birmingham with advice on activism and involvement for people living with HIV.

The Activism & Involvement workshops to offer attendees training in three areas

Treatment Advocacy & Clinical Engagement – increasing understanding around NHS policy and communicating with clinics and clinicians to shape and improve HIV services.

Awareness Raising & Personal Activism – improving the general public’s knowledge around HIV and sexual health, including through local media and social media, and establishing relationships with relevant organisations, communities and individuals.

Political Campaigning & Activism – outlining policy goals and campaigning messages, knowing how to effectively communicate, identifying and working with key decision makers and influencers.

Garry Brough, Membership Officer at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to watch myHIV grow into a thriving community, and still more so to see members stand up and speak out. After our pilot workshop last year, those who attended have launched blogs and websites, given national media interviews, even spoken before the United Nations. We believe people with HIV have a central role to play in transforming the way society sees the condition, and we hope these workshops will help provide the skills and encouragement they need to do so.”

The first Activism & Involvement workshop will take place from 11.00am – 4.30pm on Saturday 1st March at Terrence Higgins Trust, 3 Pitt Street, Gloucester GL1 2BH. The training is free to attend, and Terrence Higgins Trust will reimburse travel costs for attendees, on presentation of a receipt.

To register your interest in attending, or for more information, please email garry.brough@tht.org.uk. To sign up to myHIV, please visit www.myHIV.org.uk.