HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is launching a free course in Birmingham to help local people living with HIV take control of their health. The course begins on Thursday 22nd September at 11:00am at the ABplus drop-in centre on Lower Essex Street, and runs each Thursday for seven weeks.

The Positive Self Management Programme (PSMP) will be delivered by trained tutors, with each session lasting two and a half hours. Over the seven week course, participants will meet others with HIV from their community, build support mechanisms, and develop self confidence to help them feel more in control.

Course topics include the importance of taking HIV medication, relaxation techniques, healthy eating, managing fatigue, and planning for the future.

HIV remains the UK’s fastest growing serious health condition. The most recent figures from the Health Protection Agency show that, in 2009, 477 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the West Midlands area, and 4,141 people needed HIV care in the region, an 11% increase on the previous year.

Mick Mason, Regional Manager for THT in the Midlands, said: “Getting diagnosed with HIV is a life-changing event, and we know many people struggle to cope. The Positive Self Management Programme aims to give people the tools and techniques to manage their condition better, by providing information and advice but also simply by putting participants in touch with other people living with HIV. We are really pleased we can now offer this programme in Birmingham, and we’d encourage anyone who is affected by HIV to sign up.”

The course will take place at the ABplus drop-in centre, 29-31 Lower Essex St, Birmingham B5 6SN. For further information, or to book a place, please call THT in Birmingham on (0121) 694 6440, or email matthew.keogh@tht.org.uk.

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