During the Beyond Consultation project a group of African women living with HIV and a group of young African men who have sex with men produced some materials intended to communicate their views, concerns and priorities to NHS staff from sexual health and HIV services.
‘I was born a Leo’ is an interview and photography slideshow looking at one woman’s experience about trying to find work while living with HIV. She describes the feeling of vulnerability that she encounters, even in such innocuous situations as taking a bus ride. “I am healthy and I am able to work,” she says, “but if I do not disclose my [HIV] status, I could be fired if employed. I am so confused and so sad.”
These posters and short audio and video clips were intended as conversation starters at events which brought African service users together with staff from sexual health and HIV services. But they can also be used for professional development for health service staff who work in sexual health and HIV services or come into contact with African service users living with HIV. They can be used to raise awareness and prompt discussion around sensitivity to the lives and needs of African service users.