1 year ago

Brunswick Centre Newsletter


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Page 4 Brunswick Centre Newsletter Aging and HIV Caption describing picture or graphic. As we age our immune systems make less of the specific T- cells needed to respond to new infections and to develop immunity after a vaccination. Many older people lead healthy, active and exciting lives and living with HIV should not impact on this, but some health problems are more common within the HIV+ population. Will HIV make me age faster? Research has shown HIV causes the immune system to age faster than people who are not living with HIV; this means that younger people with HIV can have 'older' immune systems. This is because the virus causes the immune system to become inflamed and also due to the effects it has on some of the T-cells (T-cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a central role in supporting the immune system.) There has been a rise in the number of younger HIV positive people having 'age-related' diseases and health problems because of this - such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of older people living with HIV experiencing age-related diseases. 2014 studies from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and 2020 Health have confirmed that age-related illnesses, particularly heart and kidney disease, were more common in older HIV positive people. You can download copies of the studies here: default/files/jrf/migrated/files/ living-with-HIV-full.pdf http:// Publications/Publications-2014/ HIV.html What is happening to my body as I get older? Over time, our bodies gradually lose strength, although we now know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and exercising as we age. This means that older people now lead healthier, longer lives than in previous generations. As we age our immune systems make less of the specific T- cells needed to respond to new infections and to develop immunity after a vaccination. This is why it can be harder for older people to recover from illnesses and why they may not develop protection after an immunisation. Can I slow down the ageing process? No-one can stop the ageing process; however, we can make changes to our lifestyles which will help keep our bodies stronger and healthier into old age. These include stopping smoking, exercising more and improving our diets, as well as managing our HIV well. Living with HIV can be an added complication as we age, but improving our general health can prepare our bodies for a happy, healthy older age. Over 50s are now the fastestgrowing group of people living with HIV. Modern HIV treatment means that many people with HIV are living long, healthy lives. Living with HIV presents certain challenges, no matter what your age. But older people with HIV may face different issues than younger people, including greater social isolation and loneliness. Stigma is also a particular concern among older people with HIV. Stigma negatively affects people’s quality of life, self-image, and behaviours, and may prevent them disclosing their HIV status and seeking HIV care or support. It is important for older people with HIV to get linked to HIV care and have access to mental health and other support services to help them stay healthy and remain engaged in HIV care. The Brunswick Centre can support the emotional and physical wellbeing of people living with HIV regardless of age, however if you are particularly worried about HIV and aging and live in the Calderdale or Kirklees area come and speak to us. Whether you've been diagnosed recently or have been living with HIV for many years, it's likely our service can help. A warm welcome Caption describing picture or graphic. We are pleased to be offering a student social work placement again this year. Razwanah Alam is joining us from the University of Bradford for a 70-day placement and will be working in the HIV support team. Razwanah says ‘My role will predominately focus on working within the support team to support people living with HIV. I possess extensive experience of working within the third sector supporting vulnerable groups, as well as working in the statutory sector predominately within the area of health and health inequalities. Over the last 13 years, I have worked within third sector infrastructure supporting organsations to deliver front line services to local communities. I am passionate about social justice and challenging social inequality in its many different guises. I am extremely excited about working at the Brunswick Centre.’

Page 5 Volume 11, Issue 4 New LGB and T* domestic abuse project in Kirklees Pennine Domestic Violence Group (PDVG) provide a range of services to people experiencing domestic abuse across Kirklees. After obtaining funding from the police commissioner they employed Becky Wakefield (pictured), LGB and T* Research and Development Worker. It’s Becky’s job to increase referrals, raise awareness of domestic abuse and find out what LGB and T* people want from a domestic abuse service. They would like to hear from you, to tell them what you need from a service. You can do this by following the link lgb-t/ to complete a short questionnaire to help them improve thier provision. As with most research, word of mouth is the best way to get results – so if you would like to fill one in yourself, or know anyone else LGB and T* let them know about it. The research is aimed at LGB and T* people living in Kirklees, YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCED DOMESTIC ABUSE TO COMPLETE THE FORM. What do we mean by domestic abuse? It is continuous behaviour to control, manipulate and coerce another. The person who carries out the abuse can be an intimate partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, a man you have sex with at cruising site, parents, family members and communities. Domestic abuse can include honour based violence, forced National HIV Testing Week Success The Brunswick Centre Prevention staff and volunteers were really busy during National HIV testing week in November running various awareness events throughout the week across Calderdale and Kirklees. Many thanks to everyone who took part and contributed to making testing week the huge success that it was. As a Local Activation Partner for HIV Prevention England we ran awareness events and carried out community testing with various groups and at different venues including outreach at the Kings Bar LGBT night in Huddersfield., the REACH Project Huddersfield and St Augustine’s Centre Halifax taking part in a Food from Around the marriage and female genital mutilation. The abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual. Both LGB and T* people can be controlled by the threat of outing about their sexual orientation or gender identity or HIV positive status. It is estimated that 1 in 4 LGB people will experience domestic abuse during their lives, for trans* people it estimated at 80%. At PDVG we understand that LGB and T people don’t access services due to fear of discrimination (amongst other reasons), and they can experience domestic abuse due to homo/bi/transphobia. They are working to address this and need input from the LGB and T* communities of Kirklees. Any questions contact Becky Wakefield at 07841 913 168, available Thursdays and Fridays . World and HIV Awareness events. Our staff delivered 175 HIV tests during the quarter. we ran awareness events and carried out community testing with various groups and at different venues Africa Rise African Rise has been developed by colleagues from Yorkshire Mesmac and Naz Project London. The Naz project is a leading charity providing health services and resources for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Africa Rise is the country’s first online platform aimed at African men who have sex with men (MSM) which pools together a wide range of HIV information, personal support and legal advice. The site uses video to enable African MSM to share their experience, personal stories and concerns through video testimonials. Additionally, it gathers together exciting cultural events from the worlds of music, art, theatre, film and fashion taking place in African MSM’s countries of interest. For more information please contact: Joseph Adesunloye at or on: 020 8741 1879. Alternatively visit:

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