As part of a programme to mark World AIDS Day, sexual health charity Brigstowe hosted a special event on 27 November showcasing three linked areas of work supported by Bristol Health Partners’ Sexual Health Improvement (SHIP) HIT.
Attendees gathered at the Watershed on Bristol’s harbourside, with others joining via Zoom.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees opened the evening with a pre-recorded message, which was followed by updates from each of the organisations and projects.
First, SHIP HIT co-director Jo Copping, Consultant in Public Health at Bristol City Council and Public Health England, updated attendees on Year 2 of the Fast Track Cities initiative in Bristol, which brings city partners and the public together to accelerate work towards ending HIV.
Jo was followed by Lindsey Harryman and Sharon Moses from Unity Sexual Health, which provides a free and confidential service for people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Finally, project co-ordinator Aisha Namurach looked back at the first year of the innovative Common Ambition project, which is working with African and Caribbean heritage communities in Bristol to increase rates of HIV testing and reduce stigma.
Two powerful personal testimonies “When you called me on a Monday” and “3 Letters”, written by people living with HIV, linked each speaker. The evening ended with a performance from the Sing Out Bristol choir.
Rami Ghali, Brigstowe’s CEO, said:
“As a local HIV charity, World AIDS Day is an important part of Brigstowe’s calendar. It was great to come together to remember those who have died but also celebrate the huge progress that has been made over the years.
“The event showcased some of the exciting work being done under the umbrella of Fast Track Cities Bristol. It was also great to have live readings of powerful spoken word pieces written by people living with HIV. Our thanks go to the SHIP HIT who kindly funded the event.”