Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

A positive message on tackling HIV here

I write in response to the letter 'Aids fight should start at home' (Write Back, September 27).

Positive Life is the only HIV-specific charity in Northern Ireland, supporting people living with and affected by HIV.

We welcome the positive role the UK is playing in helping to tackle HIV and Aids on a global level. However, we agree it is vitally important there is accurate and widely available information on HIV prevention and treatment, as well as robust and effective services for people affected by HIV in Northern Ireland.

There are approximately 1,000 people with HIV in Northern Ireland. Compared to the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland represents the biggest proportional increase in new HIV diagnoses from 2000 to 2011 – an increase of 332%.

Positive Life provides a range of vital services and support to people affected by HIV. These services include a confidential helpline, which can provide advice on sexual health. This service is supported and enhanced by our provision of a range of services, including one-to-one support, counselling, complementary therapies and benefits advice.

We do receive some Government funding for our core services; however, with an increasing client-base and our desire to introduce new and innovative services, we actively seek to raise our own funds to support our services.

If you would like to donate, you can at www.positivelifeni.com/donate.

DANNY McQUILLAN

Positive Life

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