It’s important to know we’re not alone in our experiences and particularly in our struggles. This is why we provide opportunities for people living with HIV or Hepatitis C to meet others in the same situation. We call this ‘peer support’ and it allows people to share their experiences, help each other, reduce isolation and build supportive social networks.
We offer peer support in group settings or one-to-one with a trained volunteer peer supporter or a member of staff who is living with HIV or Hepatitis C – we appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable joining a group.
Peer support may be based on gender, sexuality, age or culture so our peer support groups include African groups, young people’s groups, women’s and gay men’s groups. However, a peer may simply be someone else who is living with HIV or Hepatitis C. All groups and initial one-to-one meetings are facilitated by a member of staff to ensure they are safe, confidential, friendly and supportive settings.
Peer support is often based around an activity such as a visit to a cafe or the theatre. Groups are also organised around learning a new skill such as knitting or gardening or around a workshop on topics such as eating well on a budget or telling people about your HIV or Hepatitis C status. Find out more about our groups.
The benefits for you in using group or one-to-one peer support can include:
· Reassurance from others in the same situation
· New friendships
· Increased confidence and self-esteem
· Being better able to live well with HIV or Hepatitis C
· Learning new skills.
Get in touch with your local office for peer support in your area