Young People Living with HIV in the South West – ‘Double 0 Positive/00+’
Currently there are approximately 25 children and young people with HIV living across the South West of England and treated at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. About 15 additional young people aged 18 to 25 have transferred to adult services in Bristol and other cities. There is no other support provision for this group and before this project many had never had the opportunity to access specialist support and information.
We have a programme of work set up to support these children and young people which includes having a member of CHIVA staff present during clinic times, working with the paediatric HIV team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and having the time to talk with families and children there. Where needed, we provide additional support, offered through structured home-visits, one-to-one work with children, and three times a year (in school holidays) bringing together these young people to run a peer support group.
The group is a place to learn and discuss the issues of growing up with HIV, such as how HIV impacts on the immune system and how medication works. It also explores psychosocial issues relating to the stigma of HIV, such as self-stigma and poor self-esteem, and how these impact on adherence to medicine and general life experiences.
The group has now met several times over the years and enjoyed a number of workshops and social outings such as adventure golf, bowling and the cinema. Members came up with the group name ‘00+’ (Double 0 Positive). For two years a separate younger group ran alongside the older group. This group was for children aged 9-13. The two groups have now been merged.
For more information contact Abi.firstname.lastname@example.org 07807 705062 0117 910 5226