Fourteen young people aged 13 to 23 met up in February. Participants talked about how in the main, they felt they had accepted their own HIV and that it didn't bother them very much. Participants expressed that any negativity they felt about living with HIV was more to do with not being able to talk about HIV at home, with parents or carers:
'I feel fine but my family can’t talk about it. We came to the CHIVA family conference last year and that was great, but after that everything went backwards’
There was a session with Lisa Cordery, Specialist Community Public Health Nurse and Team Leader for the Switched On Substance Misuse Service and Cardiff Health Youth Board. Lisa did an awareness session about risky behaviours, drugs and alcohol, with a focus on cannabis. Feedback about this was very good with most young people saying they learnt a lot. Participants talked about how in their experience it was much easier and cheaper to access illegal drugs than alcohol.
The main activity was an ‘Escape Room’ style exercise designed and facilitated by CHIVA Associate Camilla Gordon. The young people had to solve a number of clues all relating to HIV/sexual health/drugs and alcohol/general health that were linked to hidden information around the room. They had to use morse code and solve an HIV knowledge crossword.