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On World AIDS Day, imagine a world without HIV

28 November 2019

The Trust will celebrate World AIDS Day on Friday 29 November. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust runs the largest HIV service in the country and has a long association with the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will celebrate World AIDS Day on Friday 29 November. The Trust runs the largest HIV service in the country and has a long association with the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

On both our Chelsea site and West Middlesex site we will mark the day with stands, TV screens outlining our work and music/performance. There will be awareness raising at our HIV and sexual health community services across London, such as 10 Hammersmith Broadway and 56 Dean Street.

In the CW+ MediCinema at Chelsea we are also hosting a film show spanning our history and looking to the future. We also will also screen the award winning film 5B about the world's first ever AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital.

Chief Executive Lesley Watts said: “On World AIDS Day we remember our history of helping people with HIV/AIDS in treatment, support, and research. And through research and innovation, we work towards a future where HIV transmission falls to zero. We were there for the beginning of the epidemic and we now work towards its end.”

Volunteering

Volunteering has always been key to supporting those with HIV, right back to the start of the epidemic. For Barry Dew, World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on how far we have come. Barry started to volunteer in 2001, after his partner died. After 18 years, he is currently based in the Kobler Clinic Outpatients, in the St Stephens Centre.

Barry said: “I wanted to give something back for the care we had received. At that time, the drugs simply weren’t as good as they are now. It was still a time when deaths were common. Now it’s very different. We see far fewer very sick HIV patients.

“There’s still a stigma about HIV. What hasn’t changed is that volunteers help make the place friendly and accepting. I provide non-medical information, connect people with support, and we provide refreshments for HIV patients, family and friends.”

Driving down HIV transmission

Dr Alan McOwan is lead clinician for 56 Dean Street, the award winning Soho based service which has seen an 82% reduction in the number of new HIV infections. 

Dr McOwan said: “We have achieved remarkable results in the population we serve. However, we have noticed that HIV is not falling in the younger gay men who use the clinic. In response we’ve launched ‘Generation ZERO’. The project works with this community targeting them through social media with tailored HIV prevention information and tools. Younger gay men are also given priority access for testing and the clinic is fundraising to support offering free PrEP prevention pills to those unable to access them.”

Watch 56 Dean Street’s public information film aimed at young men, narrated by Will Young.

 

In addition, our charity CW+ is proud to support our fight against HIV/AIDS and you can support it too by visiting www.cwplus.org.uk/donate

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