Health

HIV Charities & Resources To Know After Watching It’s A Sin

Getting a HIV diagnosis today doesn't have the same implications as it did in the 1980s.

Channel 4

Russell T Davies’ new Channel 4 series It’s A Sin premiered on Jan. 22, and immediately had a massive impact. The drama – which follows five flatmates as they negotiate living life to the full in the shadow of the AIDs crisis in 1980s Britain – has put a spotlight on the activists that have worked tirelessly to bust the stigma surrounding HIV. Getting a HIV diagnosis today doesn't have the same implications as it did four decades ago. And there are great UK organisations that advocate for and support HIV positive people, some of which we've listed below.

Due to scientific breakthroughs over the last 30 years, 98% of people with HIV in the UK are on treatment, and 97% are virally suppressed, which means levels of virus in the blood are so low that they can’t pass it on. Diagnoses have continued to fall, year on year, while in March 2020, the BBC reported that a man from London was the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, according to doctors. Meanwhile, charities and activists have created safe spaces to speak about HIV, and they also lobby the government for funding and resources.

Unless you've done your research on AIDS and HIV from the 1980s to now, you may not know much about it. So, a good place to start are with the UK organisations who have worked to open up conversations, educate and extend support to those who are affected by HIV. Below, we list the charities you can donate to now, and the resources where you can read up on HIV today.

Charities

National AIDS Trust

The National AIDS Trust is one of the leading organisations in the UK that supplies resources and support for people living with HIV. It also offers information on testing, advice on what to do if you face discrimination, and is working to end new HIV transmissions by 2030.

Terrence Higgins Trust

In 1982, Terry Higgins was one of the first people to die of an AIDS-related illness. In his memory the Terrence Higgins Trust was established, as an organisation that promotes sex positivity, and clued-up sexual health. The trust has also given people with a positive diagnosis a platform.

Positively UK

Positively UK is an organisation that offers peer support for people living with HIV. It runs educational campaigns on the misconceptions often connected with HIV, and gives voice, visibility and support to people with a positive diagnosis.

George House Trust

George House Trust provides support for people living with HIV and their loved ones. The trust offers one-to-one advice regarding the steps to take after diagnosis, personal connection with others living with HIV, and can advocate on your behalf. The website details some of the most common questions after diagnosis, and how to access the counselling service.

Positive East

Positive East has worked for 30 years to improve the lives of people living with HIV. The website covers everything from what to do after you get diagnosed to long-term care options. The charity also advocates to improve policies and services for those who are HIV positive.

Sussex Beacon

Sussex Beacon provides specialist care for people who have been diagnosed with HIV, and support for their family and friends. The centre is based in Brighton, offering both in-patient and out-patient services. The charity also provides advice on how to stay mentally and physically healthy after a diagnosis, and links to support groups.

Children's HIV Association

CHIVA works with young people living with HIV, and their families. The association provides information on treatment and wider support, as well as running support groups and camps for young people. The focus is on reducing isolation, and building confidence in young people living with HIV.

Resources

Stonewall

Stonewall is one of the world's leading charities advocating for people who are part of the LGBTQ+ communities. The website has information about what HIV is, and how it can be treated, and the charity also advocates for the rights of people with HIV.

Switchboard

Switchboard is a support line for members of the LGBTQ+ communities. If you’re looking for specific support, you can call on 0300 330 0630, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day; web chat or email chris@switchboard.lgbt.

NHS

The NHS website can be super helpful in explaining what a HIV test involves, what doctors are looking for when testing, and the treatment that is available after a positive HIV diagnosis. Cutting through the noise can be tough, but the NHS website is always a sound resource for accurate information.

Avert

Avert is an international charity that shares professional resources to help build your understanding of HIV, whether you or friend or family member has a positive diagnosis. The charity lists detailed country- and region-specific information, and also outlines what COVID-19 means for people living with HIV.

Centrepoint

Centrepoint is a charity that supports young people in difficult living situations, including those that are struggling with their living situation after a HIV diagnosis. The charity runs a helpline, and offers support to people until they find somewhere to stay.