Our HIV support service is a free, safe and confidential service that offers both emotional and practical support .You can access support on a one- to- one or group basis. Our service includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); support groups; information, advice and advocacy; emotional support and complementary therapies.
We deliver a number of courses throughout the year and host one-off sessions and skill building courses for people living with HIV covering topics such as improving self-confidence, disclosure, medication and adherence, anxiety and stress.
We also provide bespoke training sessions for organisations, schools and groups to raise knowledge and awareness or to address particular needs of your staff or groups. Training can be adapted to your needs and budget so please do get in touch to discuss further.
We have a number of service users who are happy to share their experiences of being diagnosed and living with HIV and these sessions can be delivered as a stand alone session or in conjunction with awareness training to provide a full package of factual and personal information.
Please contact us for further information 0113 2449767; firstname.lastname@example.org
Our peer mentors are individuals who are living with HIV and who want to offer their time and experience and provide support to others. Our mentors are fully trained and receive ongoing support from BHA and and work to the National Standards for HIV Peer Support.
Many people living with HIV, whether newly diagnosed or those longer term diagnosed, benefit from talking to others about their diagnosis and peer mentors are available to meet with you at a time and location that is convenient to you such as the clinic, our centre or a coffee shop.
If you are living with HIV in Leeds and wish to meet up with a peer mentor, please get in touch via the links below.
Our experienced and qualified complementary therapists provide reflexology and massage for our service users living with HIV.
Many people report that complementary therapies can help them relax, reduce stress and anxiety and that it improves their ability to cope with day to day life.
Our therapy service offers massage and reflexology and is available during the day or early evening. The service can be accessed free by registered clients although we do have a limited number of sessions available and we currently offer a block of 5 therapy sessions per person per year. Please speak to your support worker for more information. If you are not registered with us, but would like to access this service, please contact a worker who can discuss this with you. We also have a cancelation list if you would like your name adding so that we can contact you if we receive any cancellations.
Massage is available Tuesday 4-7pm and Thursday afternoons.
Reflexology is available on Thursday afternoons 12-2pm.
Our team of social care support workers provide support to anyone living with or affected by HIV.
Emotional health and well being is a key component of quality of life for everyone. However despite significant medical advances in HIV treatment, people living with HIV experience significantly higher rates of emotional difficulties than the general population.
Psychological health and well being are key components of health and quality of life for everyone.
This support can help with exploring how you feel about your diagnosis, disclosure (telling someone you are HIV positive), starting medications, health care, pregnancy and other issues that may be important to you. Your support worker work can help work with you to improve your mental health and to develop your support plan.
At BHA Leeds Skyline, we offer 1 to 1 services for everyone living with or affected by HIV in Leeds. You can talk to one of our support team on any issue that may concern you and they will advise, signpost, refer or advocate on your behalf.
You may wish to discuss issues, concerns or experiences about:
Managing relationships, sex or disclosure
Sexuality or gender identity
Understanding of HIV and treatments
Housing, benefits, welfare rights
Debt or financial hardship
Pregnancy, birth and children
Employment or training
Other health issues
Our team are able to provide you with support either in person, over the phone or video call if you prefer. We also offer a number of evening and Saturday appointments however, these must be booked in advance.
Dealing with HIV from day to day can be difficult in its self but when you have other worries in your life it can be exhausting.
Our team of support workers can work with you to find out what your concerns are and make plans to address each issue. This is called your support plan. We will work at your pace to make changes to each issue that you find difficult. We will do this by providing the best information available with issues such as starting HIV medications, adherence (taking your medications on time) housing, benefits, pregnancy, addiction etc. We work in partnership with other agencies to resolve your difficulties and gain advice and information for your benefit. This is called advocacy.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not only good for your health – it also protects your partners.
U=U means that you don’t need to use condoms if you were only using them to stop HIV transmission.
The scientific evidence is clear that effective treatment reduces HIV transmission risk to zero.
BHA supports the Consensus Statement on the risks of sexual transmission of HIV from a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load.
For at least 20 years we have known that ART reduces HIV transmission.
Early diagnosis and treatment with ART not only restores people living with HIV to a normal life expectancy but also shows that people living with HIV who are on treatment and have a suppressed viral load do not transmit HIV to their sexual partners. This means if you are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you don’t have to worry about passing on HIV.
BHA believes that this provides even more reason for every person to know his or her HIV status, and where appropriate, start and maintain treatment.
BHA strongly believes that treatment is a very personal choice. Some people living with HIV may not be ready to start treatment or struggle with adherence for a variety of reasons.
No one should feel shame or embarrassment for not being on treatment or having any level of viral load which may be their choice or due to circumstances that are not in their control.
Stigma, discrimination and numerous social barriers may make it difficult or impossible to reach an undetectable viral load. Everyone living with HIV, regardless of viral load, has the right to full and healthy social, sexual and reproductive lives.
We provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has been shown to have very positive outcomes for anxiety disorders such as panic, worry, phobias (including social phobia), depression, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
We have a qualified and accredited CBT therapist, who has many years of experience working with people with HIV and who are experiencing a range of emotional or psychological difficulties. CBT is a ‘talking therapy’ known to be helpful with a range of difficulties such as low mood or depression, worry and anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and stress. These are all quite common problems. Coming to terms with an HIV diagnosis can be a particularly challenging time and therapy can help you adjust to this and cope with additional concerns about your diagnosis, disclosure, health concerns, treatment and relationships.
The basis of CBT is that what people think affects how they feel and how they behave. During times of mental distress the way a person sees and judges themselves and the things that happen to them alters. Things tend to become extreme and unhelpful. This can worsen how a person feels and then they may behave in a way that prolongs their distress and keeps their problems going. CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. In all situations, we respond with a variety of thoughts, physical feelings, emotions and behaviours. Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally. It can also alter what you do about it. There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about them.
CBT can help you identify and change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). In doing this, the result is often a major improvement in how a person feels and lives. CBT is recognised as an effective treatment for many emotional and psychological issues and is therefore recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence).
If you feel this may be helpful for you, please discuss this with your support worker who can make a referral for you to the CBT service. This service is available for registered service users who are resident in Leeds. It is a private and confidential service provided free of charge.
We also provide other mental health support for people living with HIV through our work with the Live Well Leeds service. As part of this, we provide 121 and group activities to improve well-being and offer a range of activities including yoga, arts and crafts, walking groups, relaxation, mediation etc. See our events calendar for group activities or speak to a member of the team.
We provide a wide range of group activities. These include formal discussion or topic led sessions to more informal peer support sessions. We offer group support sessions during the day, evenings and on Saturdays and also provide more holistic sessions to improve health and well-being or social activities.
Some of our groups are open to all and have a diverse group of people who attend. These include:
Health and well-being sessions – evening sessions which look at a variety of ways to improve health and well-being such as yoga, exercise, mindfulness, meditation, art, nutrition.
Saturday Soup – monthly support sessions available to all with a variety of activities taking place.
Some of our group sessions are tailored for particular groups, to allow for the support and topics to be focussed and tailored to their needs. For example:
PACT – an evening support group for positive gay, bisexual and trans men
Valour – a daytime support group for positive women
Together4Life – a weekend support group for positive and affected young people
Please speak to a member of our support team or see our events page for dates/times and details of specific activities. If you have not attended a group session before, please speak to a member of the team before attending.
Valour – Women’s group – Friday 11.30 am – 2.00 pm
Valour is vibrant and welcoming support group for BME women living with HIV. Sessions are every 2 weeks and focus on all aspects of life including health, education, employment, relationships and family matters and confidence building and self-esteem. We also enjoy various arts and crafts activities and social events to local attractions. It is also a chance to meet other women in a safe and confidential environment. Childcare is provided on site, and is free of charge. Come and join us, we have lots to share.
Together 4 Life – Young people’s group – Saturday from 2pm
Together 4 Life is a group for young people aged 12-18 who are living with HIV or affected by HIV. The group meets for support, trips and other activities such as dance and drama workshops, healthy living sessions, confidence-building, meeting new people and lots more. It’s a great opportunity to meet other young people in a safe and friendly environment. The group meets every 6 weeks on a Saturday from 2pm, and if you’re interested in attending, please call for further information.
PACT (Positive And Coping Together)- Gay, Bisexual, MSM and Trans* men’s group – Tuesday 6-8pm
Members are from all backgrounds and are of all ages and length of time they have been living with HIV; from newly diagnosed to men who have been HIV positive for 20 years+. The men offer peer support based on their experiences of living with HIV and how to deal with difficulties that may arise in your life. Disclosure, mental health, drug use, negotiating safer sex, isolation, treatments and broader sexual health have all been recent discussion points in the group. Sessions are planned based on what the group decide is relevant or important to them.
The group is confidential, supportive and an opportunity to meet other men.
Saturday Soup – open to all – Saturday 11.30 am – 1.30 pm – last Saturday of the month.
Our Saturday social runs on the last Saturday of the month and provides the opportunity to meet new people. See our events page for further details.