Sexual Health and HIV. Reducing the impact of HIV and sexually transmitted Infections (STI)

As one of the providers of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Service by Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust , we provide HIV prevention, community outreach, testing, support and expert advice one-to-one and in group settings.

Community
Outreach
Meeting people where they live and work is a really effective way of spreading key messages around sexual health, and generating increased demand for and access to services. Using staff members and volunteers with strong local knowledge and a good rapport with people in the community, we are able to make connections, raise awareness and refer to services.
The organisation’s outreach teams start conversations, and disseminates information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. HACO enables safer sex by distributing condoms and we recognise that many people will not be comfortable in the clinical setting so we make available home sampling kits. We work across London to make sure people have the information and materials they need to stay healthy, happy and safe.
Testing Services
When diagnoses can be made early, everyone benefits. Making sure that everyone can access testing services is vitally important.
For an individual early diagnosis means that they can access the treatment and care required to either cure or manage their condition. Receiving treatment as early as possible produces the best health outcomes. When people are aware of their health status, they are able to make informed choices that benefit people in their lives. On the public health level, early diagnosis and access to treatment reduces costs of healthcare in the long-term.
HACO offers free and instant HIV/AIDS tests in the community setting, along with a variety of other screening options as part of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Services .

Support Groups

Sharing experiences and hearing the journeys of other people living with HIV can be really helpful in allowing an individual to come to terms with their diagnosis and get the most out of life. Support groups provide a confidential and friendly space for individuals to talk through their issues and be supported by their peers, safe in the knowledge that they will not face judgement or embarrassment. Our support groups create this dynamic, while offering expert advice and support.
Within the support group setting, a structured programme of workshops and talks makes available a wide range of topics and information. While we cover a broad array of topics, our workshops are all designed to help individuals to access the opportunities and information they need to live life to the full. In the past we have ran workshops on mindfulness and well-being, housing, and entering education or training