World AIDS Day - supporting people to live life to the full
30 November 2018

World AIDS Day - 1 December 2018



Sussex Community HIV Specialist Services attended various events in support of World AIDS Day on 1 December 2018.

The Community HIV Specialist team offers support and guidance to adults living with HIV and carries out crucial work in the community.

The Service provides free, confidential advice and support to people who are HIV positive and has three nurse-led teams covering Brighton and Hove and West Sussex. Each team offers HIV clinical nurse specialists, a mental health nurse, access to a health trainer and other support workers.

Colleagues from our service were in attendance at New Steine Gardens in Kemptown, Brighton on Saturday 1 December for a Remembrance and candle lit vigil held by a community partnership of local HIV/LGBT+ organisations and charities.

A stall was set up at Crawley Hospital, to share information about HIV, how to access the service and ribbons for AIDS and HIV awareness.

Meanwhile at Zachary Merton hospital in Rustington, a World AIDS Day display focusing on the Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign, an international campaign to alert people to the benefits of being on treatment. Team members, Lisa Rackley and Sophie Campaigne, were distributing ribbons and information to the staff door-to-door.

Additionally, nursing staff, Cat Bellingham and Melanie Martin worked in partnership with our clinical service manager Anna Bamford at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Friday 31 November to distribute red ribbons to patients and staff and talk about stigma awareness. 

Why celebrate World AIDS Day?

World AIDS day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related Illness.

Over 101,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and over 35 Million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

National HIV testing Week

World Aids Day 2018 follows National HIV Testing Week in England, a campaign to promote regular testing among the most affected population groups to reduce the rates of undiagnosed people and those diagnosed late. The campaign shared some valuable information regarding HIV testing and statistics:

In total, 1 in 8 people do not know that they have HIV. Early diagnosis = normal life expectancy. Late diagnosis leads to a tenfold increase of death within one year.

Sussex Community HIV service offers the following support for adults with HIV:

  • Nursing support, home visits and health checks
  • Case management of complex health issues
  • Advice on making decisions about starting, changing or stopping your antiretroviral therapy
  • Information to help your carers and partners make choices about your healthcare.
  • Advice to help control your symptoms, for example pain, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Sexual health education and promotion
  • Discharge planning from hospital
  • Assisting you, if you wish to share your status with others
  • Help to understand medical terms

For more information go to: https://www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/services/servicedetails.htm?directoryID=16310

Useful links: https://www.worldaidsday.org/