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Liz takes the Chair at NHIVNA

Date: 13 July 2021 to 31 December 2098

One of SCFT’s clinical services managers (CSM) has become the new Chair of the National HIV Nurses’ Association (NHIVNA). 

Liz Foote (pictured), who runs the Trust’s Community HIV Specialist Service (CHIVSS) and has worked in the field for almost 30 years, accepted the voluntary, unpaid role following three years’ service on the group’s executive committee. 

The CSM, who also heads SCFT’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Specialist Service and Carers’ Health Team, said she felt “anxious and privileged” about the position, which she took up last month and will hold for three years. 

“It was a privilege to be asked,” said Liz, who moved to Sussex last year after being offered her current job with the Trust. 

“I said ‘no’ for a long time but close colleagues and friends believed in me and encouraged me, so I finally agreed.” 

Asked what she hoped to achieve, she said: “Most importantly, I would like to ensure that on a national level HIV nurses and members are well looked after and supported. 

“I would also like to help prepare patients and nurses working in the HIV field for the changes ahead in terms of HIV treatment delivery. 

“And I would love to finally see HIV being treated as a long-term condition without stigma attached to it.” 

Liz’s experience of working in HIV began in 1993 when she became a buddy at a voluntary organisation in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, after spending a year teaching art in Senegal, West Africa. 

“The main reason was that I couldn’t bare the stigma attached to the disease or the fact that the public were so fearful of HIV and those who had it,” she explained. 

After qualifying in 1996, she got a job as an HIV nurse in London before working in the same role in Cambodia, South-East Asia, for three years. 

Liz then moved to Liverpool with her family and worked as a community palliative care nurse for four years until she began managing the city’s community HIV service.