HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is re-launching support groups in Brighton, aimed at two specific groups of people living with HIV – young people and heterosexual men and women. These monthly meetings for local people are free and confidential, and take place at Terrence Higgins Trust’s centre on Ship Street.

Young people between the ages of 16 – 27 living with HIV are welcome to attend the charity’s friendly and social sessions on the first Tuesday of each month from 7.00pm – 9.00pm, where they can discuss the issues and experiences that affect them in a safe environment. As the majority of new HIV diagnoses are acquired by those aged over 30, some young people with HIV may previously have felt the support groups available would not cater to their needs. By providing a more specialised forum for discussion, it is hoped that more of this age group will come forward and seek support. The next meeting takes place on Tuesday 3rd April.

‘Telling It Straight’ is Terrence Higgins Trust’s support group for heterosexual men and women who are living with HIV, which runs on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 6.00pm – 8.00pm. This group offers straight people in Brighton the opportunity to talk about living with HIV and how it affects their lives, to share their experiences with people in similar circumstances and receive support and information from trained staff in a confidential and welcoming space. The next ‘Telling It Straight’ meeting takes place on Tuesday 27th March.

Peter Boorman, Centre Co-ordinator for Terrence Higgins Trust in Brighton, said, “Telling It Straight is important as there aren’t many support groups specifically for heterosexual people living with HIV out there. It is a valuable experience for the people who come along and we are always happy to welcome new faces. Our sessions for younger people are vital too, as the issues that particular age group face are unique. It has been a joy to see youngsters getting together, sharing their experiences and benefitting from each other’s support.”

Terrence Higgins Trust’s other support groups in Brighton are The Lounge (a 10 week programme for gay men living with HIV) and ‘What Next’ (running over 6 weeks for anyone newly diagnosed with HIV). All groups meet at 61 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 3AE. For more information about any of the local groups offering HIV support, please contact Peter Boorman on (01273) 764225, or email peter.boorman@tht.org.uk.

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