New projects to support people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ communities
Liverpool City Council confirms new partnership with Sahir House – which will see vulnerable individuals and under-served communities supported.
Local charity Sahir House is to lead on two brand new projects which will improve the lives of local LGBTQ+ people and those living with HIV in the city.
The first will see Sahir House deliver intensive HIV support for the city, focused on working with those people living with HIV who require help to remain in treatment and care.
By working in collaboration with Liverpool PaSH (Passionate about Sexual Health), the team at Sahir House will provide additional capacity for supporting older adults living with HIV, long-term survivors and those who might require more intensive support.
Through better treatment, and the integration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) into HIV care, life expectancy of those living with HIV has been dramatically extended, and the team at Sahir House will provide additional capacity for supporting older adults living with HIV, long-term survivors and those who might require more intensive support. This project work also forms part of Liverpool’s commitment to becoming HIV free by 2030.
The second is to lead a brand-new empowerment and collaboration project supporting the health and wellbeing of Liverpool’s unique LGBTQ+ Community.
LGBTQ+ people experience significant health inequalities throughout their lives, often starting at an early age. Discrimination – both experienced and expected, can deter LGBTQ+ people from accessing help when they are in need.
By working with Liverpool’s Public Health team to undertake their forthcoming needs assessment, Sahir House will gather intelligence and insight to better understand the needs of Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ population and then support the delivery of a new strategy, which offers better health outcomes.
Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Frazer Lake said: “I’m delighted that Liverpool City Council has been able to invest in these projects and support communities and individuals who wrongly face judgement, stigma and discrimination.
“Together we hope to acknowledge, and begin to address the considerable barriers that marginalised and vulnerable people face – as only by understanding and removing them can this lead to happier, healthier, and fulfilling lives for all.”
Ant Hopkinson, Chief Executive for Sahir House said: “Sahir House has been at the forefront of Merseyside’s response to HIV for decades and, together with the communities we serve, our staff have advocated for and helped to deliver care and support for those living with HIV since 1987. This fantastic project will see our charity empowered to continue to lead a person-centred response to HIV across Liverpool.
“Funding for the second project is a timely acknowledgement of the role that Sahir House continues to play as Liverpool’s largest continuously running LGBTQ+ charity, in acting as a trusted advocate and authentic voice for those we serve.
“These projects mark the beginning of an exciting and much needed collaboration with LCC to develop a wide-reaching LGBTQ+ action plan for Liverpool– focussing on health, wellbeing, education, employment, culture and cohesion.
Director of Public Health for Liverpool, Professor Matthew Ashton said: “It’s fantastic to be able to continue our longstanding partnership with Sahir House on these two important new projects.
“The intensive support programme for people living with HIV will focus on vital support issues such as mental health, management of comorbidities other health conditions alongside HIV, and living well in later life, whilst the LGBTQ+ project will support the system to engage and empower people who are presenting with increasingly complex and multi-layered issues.
“There have been improvements to the equity in accessing healthcare, and this is a further step in the right direction.”
The new projects are already underway (starting October 2022) and the agreement will run to September 2025 under this current arrangement.
Sahir House is a vibrant and inclusive Merseyside-based charity which promotes better sexual health for all and supports the needs of LGBTQ+ people across the region.