The Positive Health Programme, available to anyone living with HIV across London, was created to give participants the opportunity to engage in exercise to help them manage their physical and mental health long-term.
"Exercise is important for people living with HIV on many levels. It helps to manage side effects from medication by promoting muscle mass, managing lipodystrophy, aiding better sleep and increasing appetite. It can also help to manage other long term health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes and can have a large impact on improving mental health, mood and outlook." Victoria Brown, Positive Health Co-ordinator
HIV can not only affect someone's health, but also their confidence and wellbeing. Positive Health is a 12-week programme which works on improving fitness, self-esteem and quality of life. When it comes to an end we offer subsidised access to our YMCA Club in London and continuous support so that exercise becomes a part of daily life.
The Programme provides participants with four supervised gym support sessions every week as well as opportunities to try exercise classes and swimming. Participants have exclusive access to a range of therapies including reflexology, holistic massage, Life Coaching, and energy healing. Our Nutritionist provides participants with nutritional advice and will look at ways in which individuals can optimise their nutritional intake in relation to their individual needs.
HIV is a condition that unfortunately still carries a lot of stigma and the Positive Health programme tries to combat the isolation often felt by those living with HIV by offering opportunities for social interaction. Social activities include a monthly tea and chat meeting, a talking support group with our Peer mentor and social events have included theatre trips, picnics, quiz nights, weekends away and bowling. The programme also offers a weekly arts class and other courses including drama, creative writing and mindfulness.