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knowledge_is_powerWe have learned a lot from looking back over the last 30 years of HIV on Merseyside, and the slogan – ‘Knowledge is power’ – fits very well during this year’s World AIDS Day campaign.

Sahir House, Merseyside’s HIV charity has been supporting the HIV community for 3 decades. World AIDS Day on 1st December is a major date in their diary and a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness HIV at a local level.

Paul, HIV positive man living in Knowsley says: “more HIV training is needed to raise awareness with any public service providers because in my experience there has been very little available in Knowsley. My own GP thought I was first and only HIV positive person in his practice when I was diagnosed 5 years ago.”

Knowsley Public Health has recently funded Sahir House to deliver HIV awareness training to 60 front line staff starting in December.

HIV Testing week posterSahir House joined forces with LCH, NHS Trust specialist HIV nursing Service and Armistead Centre during National HIV testing week, to encourage people to know their HIV status. We offered 5 extra satellite testing sites during this week to make testing even more accessible, including St Brides Church.

The week was aimed at increasing awareness and acceptability of HIV testing. Also, to encourage everyone who is sexually active and feels that they may be a risk of having contracted the virus to get tested in order to improve early diagnosis, treatment of HIV and reduce onward transmission.

 

Pre HIV test discussion 2Roger Phillips from Radio Merseyside supported the campaign by taking a HIV test and shared this with his listeners, from his blood being taken to receiving his test result on World AIDS Day.

 

 

Liverpool Wavertree MP and Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger met with Sahir House to record a message of supporLuciana Bergert. As well as Luciana’s message Peter Tatchell also had recorded a message of support and both were shown at St. Georges Hall. The event, which was held on the evening of December 1st, was attended by over 350 guests. Guest speakers included The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Erica Kemp, Merseyside Police Detective Constable Tracy O’Hara,

Lynsey Jones and a member of the Armistead youth group. The Now+then short film was introduced by one of the film participants who spoke about why she felt it was important to be so open about her HV status.

The film can also be seen here.

Other World AIDS Day events included:

Red Ribbon cake sales, pupils wearing red to school day, films at FACT, fundraising collections at a wide variety of venues and events, bag packing, red ribbons on churches, hospital corridors, window displays, costa coffee cups and 1000’s of red ribbons being given out to the general public.