We would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views and experiences with Lambeth Council in their consultation on proposed changes to HIV support service across Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
Naturally we are disappointed by the proposed cuts to services for people living with HIV, including METRO's First Point assessment and signposting service. However we welcome the proposals to continue vital work with families and peer support.
Earlier this year METRO Charity and Positive Parenting and Children merged, both charities have side-by-side fought stigma, embraced equality and diversity and lived through the HIV epidemic, working across London boroughs with the highest prevalence of HIV in the UK. The METRO PPC team continue to deliver key work with families affected by HIV.
We are pleased to see that the consultation report highlights the niche nature of this work, stating 'no alterative provision had been identified'.
METRO continues to work locally with partners and commissioners and the people they serve to develop and deliver impactful services supporting the full diversity of people living with HIV, as well as nationally on campaigns such as #stopHIVcuts.
We were concerned, but not surprised, to see that the consultation still found that 'there is still considerable stigma associated with HIV, and sexuality, [and that] this impacts on the ability of some people to feel safe using mainstream services'.", Andrew Evans, Director of Operations, METRO Charity.
Alongside the HIV Support Services provided in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham METRO continues to also provide support services in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Croydon, Wandsworth, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames, Merton, Sutton and across Essex.