Future leaders to take on HIV and sexual health in African communities

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Terrence Higgins Trust, Sigma Research, NAM (National AIDS Manual) and the African HIV Policy Network, are launching a three-year leadership programme to tackle the growing problem of HIV and sexual ill-health in UK African communities.

The programme, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, will select one future leader a year from African communities in the UK, to build a career in HIV prevention and sexual health promotion. Godwin Adegbite, the first participant to join the programme started his role at Terrence Higgins Trust in August.

Godwin will work in supervised placements within Terrence Higgins Trust, Sigma Research, NAM and the African HIV Policy Network and will gain training and leadership skills in planning, implementing and evaluating targeted health promotion projects.

African communities in the UK are disproportionately affected by sexual ill-health and face the biggest increase in new HIV diagnoses. Almost 40% of new HIV diagnoses in London are among people from African communities. But despite being at much higher risk of HIV, Africans are not yet receiving enough support from health and social care services.

Godwin Adegbite said: “I’m really excited to be starting the programme and I’m hoping to learn a lot about HIV prevention and health promotion. The stigma surrounding HIV is a huge problem in African communities and I hope this work will make a big difference.”

Terrence Higgins Trust is working with African and Caribbean communities to raise awareness of sexual health and HIV. Current projects include:
• Ajamu – working with African and Caribbean young people in East London
• Harambee – working with African men in Lambeth and Southwark