Images from Limbo launched

'A roof over my head', One of the images captured by an asylum seeker living with HIV as part of the Images from Limbo project.

This week we were in the Scottish Parliament for the launch of Images from Limbo, an exhibition from the University of Edinburgh.

The project, which Waverley Care supported, tells the stories of asylum seekers and refugees who are living with HIV in Scotland.

A group of 20 asylum seekers were given cameras and asked to document their experiences of life in Scotland. The images gathered by the group tell powerful stories of the challenges of living in a new country without recognised legal status. Denied the right to work, and fearing deportation, the images highlight how asylum seekers are often forced to live on the edges of society with serious implications for their physical and mental health.

We were keen to be involved in the project as the issues it explores echo the experiences we hear through our African Health Project. Through this work, we are providing practical support, raising awareness of HIV and reducing the transmission of the virus by educating, empowering and encouraging African communities.

The researchers behind Images from Limbo have highlighted the lack of previous research into the experiences of migrants living with HIV. Their hope is that this project can provide a basis for further work. Given the increase in Scotland’s African population over the past 10 years, we would strongly back further research to ensure the challenges facing vulnerable asylum seekers can be addressed.