Patients, peers and volunteers

Shaun Watson
Clinical Nurse Specialist (HIV Community)

Welcome to the bumper 2016 summer issue of HIV Nursing. In this issue we have focused upon the one thing that makes us nurses: patients. Without patients we wouldn’t be here and within HIV it is our patients who have fought, challenged, shaped and developed the HIV service that we see today. From the earliest days of activism in the 1980s, demanding fast, efficient services that supported patients dying from AIDS with compassion and dignity, through to HIV drug activism demanding effective, efficient and cheap treatment. To today, where patient involvement has led to patient groups, peer support, peer-led services and the involvement of patients at the highest board level to ensure that their voices are still heard and acted upon.
In this issue, Garry Brough’s article Peer support in HIV care looks at Positively UK’s unique role in developing a validated peer support and education programme, a service that has become a valuable addition to many HIV clinics and for people living with HIV, supporting them through issues from being newly diagnosed to starting or changing antiretroviral treatment. Read more. . .