Black and Ethnic Minorities (BMEs) are more likely to have poorer health than white groups mainly because they are unaware of available services and how and where to access them. This is made worse by language and cultural barriers.
The most evident result of this lack of access and awareness of relevant health services is the high number of Black Minority and Ethnic individuals that are infected, and are affected by HIV/AIDS.
In response to this we work in partnership with Positive East London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Havering and other national organisations to deliver community based HIV/AIDS prevention, sexual health promotion and wellbeing projects.
We deliver outreach activities aimed at meeting specific needs of individuals and communities resident in the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering including:
- HIV and sexual health information and resource distribution..
- HIV testing and sexual health screening
- HIV training and capacity building for professionals
- Health and well-being themed workshops, activities and services
- Volunteering opportunities.
HIV/AIDS testing is a key component in controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS infection. For those who test positive for the HIV virus, awareness can help them take precautions or steps to protect their own health and that of their partners, thus avoiding further transmission; whilst for those who test negative, the testing process is an opportunity to get information on how to avoid risks of infection and stay healthy. HIV and Sexual health screening sessions are free,confidential. and open to anyone.
Other services provided by the outreach include sign posting clients to genito-urinary medicine (GUM), other generic health information and distribution of information leaflets.
Feedback obtained from the beneficiaries has been positive. Many of them have said that we provide a safe and welcoming atmosphere where they can be helped to identify their needs seek and be offered support.