Between the Sheets: support for HIV-positive women in relation to their sexual activity, framed around their engagement and expressed needs

Pauline Jelliman
Service and Operational Lead, HIV Community Nursing Team, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, UK

The Between the Sheets (BTS) project was conceived and developed by myself and three women living with HIV (WLHIV), the focus group. This was supported by a project team from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH), and the voluntary agency Sahir House, Merseyside’s support agency for those infected with or affected by HIV or AIDS. The HIV/AIDS community nursing team has been operational since 1993, providing specialist nursing care, support and advice to patients, professionals and carers across Liverpool communities. This affords the privileged position of supporting patients in their own homes. As community nurses nationally will agree, patients are often more relaxed and willing to talk with greater openness in their own environment. This nurse/patient relationship is described as ‘the prime therapeutic tool’ [1] and was the catalyst for change, for the BTS project to evolve. From personal and intimate conversations with WLHIV, relating to HIV and sexual activity, commonalities emerged. Read more…