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HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has launched its autumn programme of free and confidential groups for gay and bisexual men in London who are living with or affected by HIV.

All groups are free and confidential, ranging from one day life-coaching workshops to an eight-week programme looking at drug, alcohol and sex addiction.

In 2011, despite representing only 3% to 4% of the general population, gay and bisexual men made up 69% of all HIV infections acquired through sex. They remain the group most disproportionately affected by HIV in the UK.

Terrence Higgins Trust’s autumn programme includes the following groups:

Thursday 26th September (6:30pm – 9.00pm): Newly Diagnosed Group
This is a six-week group for gay and bisexual men who are newly diagnosed with HIV. It covers topics ranging from the impact of diagnosis to disclosure, treatments, transmission, emotional wellbeing, accessing support, and others depending on the needs of the group.

Tuesday 1st October (6.00pm – 8.30pm): Addictions
An eight-week programme for gay and bisexual men wishing to understand and change their compulsive behaviours. Perhaps they feel that drug or alcohol use is having a negative impact on their life or they behave compulsively or addictively when it comes to sex. It is useful for men who feel sex is taking over their lives, whether they think about it constantly, spend a lot of time looking for it, or put themselves in increasingly risky sexual situations.

Saturday 5th October (10.30am – 3.00pm): Life Coaching
This one day workshop is open to both HIV positive and negative gay men and gives an introduction to life coaching within a cognitive behavioural model. It provides a space for participants to give and receive ideas about options for the future.

Monday 11th November (6.00pm – 8.30pm): Negative Partners Group
This six-week programme aims to provide support to HIV-negative men whose partner or someone close to them is living with HIV. Topics covered include living with your partner’s diagnosis, and the impact an HIV diagnosis can have on sex and relationships.

Saturday 16th November (10.30am – 3.00pm): HIV/HepC Co-infection
This three-week course offers support for HIV-positive gay men who also have Hepatitis C. The course will advise these men on how to tell people about their condition, emotional wellbeing, and information and advice on transmission and treatment.

Justin Dickson, Groupwork Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Not only do these groups offer practical support, they also focus on participants’ emotional well-being. Group members gain the opportunity to talk to others in the same situation, and build friendships and support networks. We would encourage anyone who feels they may benefit from attending a group to get in touch.” 

Terrence Higgins Trust’s groupwork programme is funded by the Pan London HIV Prevention Partnership. For more information on the workshops, or to sign up, please call (020) 7812 1773, or email groupworklondon@tht.org.uk 

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