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23 April, 2024
Guest Blog

Guest blog: Breaking the stigma of HIV

Positive East is an East London-based organisation working to bring HIV and sexual health services into the community. Their partnership with Your Place sees a member of their team deliver advice and testing on-site, in a safe and confidential space to any resident needing support.

Tresca is Prevention and Testing Coordinator at Positive East and shares more about our work together.

“Positive East provide a range of sexual health services for people in the communities of East London. This can vary, and includes support groups and HIV and STI screening services. We visit Your Place once a quarter and meet with any residents who want to confidentially access testing or support, with the resources to test on-site.

“There is a big gap for healthcare among people affected by homelessness, and in being on-site and available to residents, we’re partnering with Your Place to advocate for people, and let them know that healthcare is available.

“The stigma around sexual health is still high, so a big part of our work is challenging that. It’s especially important that we’re doing this when rates of STIs are increasing all across London, amongst all demographics, but people who have less access to healthcare are disproportionately affected.


“I have been coming to Your Place with Positive East for almost eight years now, and a wide range of people come to see me. That first step of having people come to get tested is essential; in years gone by, it has been deeply stigmatised in particular communities, but I’m now meeting with a lot more people from various backgrounds who want to get tested and access treatment when it’s required, so that’s a positive step.

“I work across East London, but Your Place is one of the best services I’ve been to; it’s really clear that staff communicate well with residents and engage with them, and that’s how they know the details of Positive East’s visits. By having a strong partnership with Your Place and its key workers, not only do residents know that we’re here to support them and offer advice and healthcare, but it breaks down another barrier to living healthier, more independent lives.”

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