A HIV diagnosis can be very isolating, as people frequently cut themselves off from the world when diagnosed with HIV but the advice from many people with HIV is that isolating yourself 'makes it worse'. HIV can be difficult to talk about with other people who may not understand the condition, the medical process, lifestyle or sigma which is still unfortunately attached to the disease. Our groups help facilitate discussion in a safe and confidential environment while making new friends at the same time.
'It's no good to sit at home. It's very stressful,' said one person. 'When you are home alone, you will be thinking that I am the only one who is having HIV', said another. People also linked isolation to poor health, depression and even suicide' 'Yes it is damaging. You get depressed.' Support groups can be particularly useful for people feeling vulnerable or anxious because of ill health, lack of confidence, immigration, poverty or being unable to work.
We have dedicated men’s and women’s groups at LASS fortnightly as well as a social 'drop in' facility.
Our drop in provides a social space for people to meet and support each other. Our sessions are on a Tuesday and Friday between 11am and 3pm. A two course lunch is served at 1pm. This is a great way to meet other HIV positive people and chat with members of staff or volunteers in an informal setting. (Visit our Events Page for dates and times)
Groups are service user led, and our members are committed to their own growth and development, and committed to the growth and development of other individuals within the group. Our groups include activity planning, health checks, healthy eating and diet plans, leisure activities chill out sessions, day trips, cinema excursions and other activities.
Although we run separate men’s and women’s groups in addition to our drop in service, the men's and women's groups sometimes come together on joint ventures such as NHS consultations or LASS service updates. Many of our service users, clients and partner organisations come together with our staff and volunteer workforce in September for our Annual General Meeting. (Details when available on our Events Page)