Monday, 4 February 2008

Group for women with HIV in Cornwall

Having spent many hours since I was diagnosed trying to find appropriate support for me - a 54 year old woman in a heterosexual relationship with HIV who lives in Cornwall

I have found there is NOTHING!!
That is right - NOTHING - Ziltch - Nill - totally NOTHING!!!

I have talked to Positively Women based in London, Terance Higgings Trust, and a few others who all say there is nothing for HIV positive women, specifically, who live in Cornwall nearer than Plymouth and that is only a group run by a general HIV support org.

I also spoke today to KPS (Kernow Positive Support - the only Cornish HIV support group who seem to be a caring organisation but who do not have anything specifically for women) who say while they have a few - about 10 I think? - women with HIV 'on their 'books' in Cornwall there is no specifically female HIV support group - and they only have one woman among them who is 'out' and willing to talk to others about HIV!!!
So it looks like my destiny is now to start one?

Women with HIV DO have different needs from men with HIV of any sexual orientation.

This is what I think and do believe is true

But in Cornwall it does not exist - yet.

I can not do it until Barry is out of the woods, but if he survives this I will and if he does not I will too - but I have to wait until his situation is resolved one way or another.

My fear is I do not have he energy right now and at my age and after initiating so many other support groups for other 'issues' both paid as a youth worker and voluntarily in my own time ..............

That I do not have the energy to start on yet another issue .
But it seems that if I am going to get the support I need for myself right now I have no alternative but to at least get the ball rolling.

If I do not have the energy to carry it forward maybe I can at least try to get it started?

I hope so .

Because it seems that women with HIV in Cornwall are in a desert in terms of peer support

Watch this space because I intended to do something about this


a said...

Veritee you probably checked out this website, but just in case you didn't, perhaps some of the sites mentioned can provide you with some information, and maybe help you set up your own group.

All my love

Scarlet (April)

Veritee said...

Thanks Scarlet
But indeed I have. It is where I went initially to see what support their was down here but all of what is listed except for Kernow Positive Support ( which you have to be formally refered to) is over 2 hours drive for us and not practical. And KPS is mostly/entirely men - it may be OK for Barry but I am not wanting to talk to men with HIV right now-
So I am in contact with Positively Women: who are based in London but have an outreach worker who looks at supporting what they call 'fledgling' HIV support groups for women around the country, or to help people start something.

I am waiting to hear back.

But thank you so much for taking the time to suggest this and I hope you are well? and your family/
Love Veritee XXXX