Bloomsbury Patient Network

GREETINGS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Greetings From Around The World

The Bloomsbury Patient Network has members from around the globe. The Network reach and support is truly international, here is what some of our international members say about us.

Argentina

Virginia. Argentina/UK

I’m only Argentinian in football matches!

Cuando añoro a mi familia que está lejos voy a alguna de las actividades del foro para confortarme.

Eso es el foro para mi, una familia sustituta, un lugar donde encuentro siempre viejos amigos y amigos nuevos.

Virginia. Argentina-Reino Unido.

En futbol soy de Argentina!

The Original Message, before translation

Sometimes when I miss my family who live far away I join some Forum activities.

That means the Forum for me, is a foster family, where I always meet old friends and make new ones.

Australia

Richard, Lawyer, Australia.

I am a 64 year old Australian living in London. I am single, gay and was diagnosed as HIV positive in January 2014 at the Bloomsbury Clinic.

As you can imagine, being tested for HIV is not great. However the sensitivity and care that I received and continue to receive from the Clinic is amazing.
I was initially quite scared of the HIV diagnosis because of the 1980’s when HIV was considered a death sentence. However, I attended the Newly Diagnosed Course which is run by the patient network. The course is brilliant. At the start we were all very nervous but by the end of the first day nerves and inhibitions were gone. I learnt so much about HIV which dispelled a lot of my fears.

Apart from the medical support by the clinic, the patient representatives have provided enormous emotional and practical support. This includes referral to a psychologist, dietician, gym, dentist and other HIV support organizations. I could not have got through the last few months without the care and support the clinic – and specifically the patient representatives – have provided me.

China

Li, China

The course is the best thing that happened to me after the diagnose. It helped me to be comfortable with myself which enable me to get on with my live. My following attendees also made the course an enjoyable learning experience and realised that I am not fighting this alone. A couple of things that Chris, the course leader, said to us will always stay with me:

  1. I will not let such tiny fragile virus to ruin my life.
  2. You had done nothing wrong, you just had sex. One of the most nature act in human race.

The Original Message, before translation

这个课程是在我确诊后发生的最好的事。它让我对自己的病情和未来有了一个理性的了解和认识。它也让我觉得能过一个正常人的生活。

我的同学们也让我感觉到团体的温暖,我不用自己去面对黑暗。我们的老师Chris教了我很多的正能量,我要和大家分享我最喜欢的两条:

  1. 我不会被这么小这么脆弱的病毒打到。
  2. 你只不过做了人类最自然的行为-性爱。

Ecuador

Jaun Carlos, Ecuador

I had a lovely experience with Chris and Angela, they taught me more about “living with HIV”. Absolutely, the best support team in my life.
I’ve had more experience about information HIV, meeting, conference, etc,etc… the meet was different, when other people with my same disease told me: you’re not alone we´re here and we can help you. I could learn more about the HIV and myself…after a big depresion with pills included that was the wonderful experience and positive energy too for me and everyone in this meet. Beautiful experience and lovely people included Chris and Angela.
Regards. I love you so much and thanks for all.

The Original Message, before translation

Yo tuve una experiencia maravillosa con Chris y Ángela, ellos me enseñaron mucho acerca de: “viviendo con VIH”. Sin lugar a duda el mejor equipo de ayuda en mi vida.
Yo he tenido más experiencias sobre información del VIH, reuniones, conferencias, etc, etc…la reunión fue diferente cuando otras personas con my misma enfermedad me dijerón: tu no estas solo nosotros estamos aqui para ayudarte. Yo pude aprender mas sobre yo mismo y el VIH…después de una gran depresión con pastillas incluidas esto fue la experiencia maravillosa y energia positiva para mí y para todos de la reunión también. Bella experiencia y encantadoras personas incluidas Chris y Ángela.
Recuerdos, Os quiero mucho y gracias por todo.

England

Richard. 32, London

I just wanted to thank you for your time and energy on the recent newly diagnosed course I attended.

The thought of coming on a course and confronting 15 complete strangers, and then having to talk about the most difficult time in my life, absolutely terrified me. However, you made me feel very welcome and extremely comforatble and pretty soon those feelings of anxiety went away.

Being able to sit and listen to others and their experiences as positive people who are leading ordinary lives made me feel really liberated. I used to be cynical about talking but I’m seeing the benefits now. Being able to share my story with you and the group dragged me out of a place I never thought I was going to be able to get out of. I don’t mind sharing with you that at times since diagnosis I have felt very low and really alone. I know now I’m not alone and am coping better. This journey is not easy but with people like you and all of those other great people working in your building, I think I’m going to be just fine and learn a lot about myself and other people.

If you can do one thing that will empower you, educate you and make you feel like you’re not on your own then do this course!

You are both very special people and I want to thank you both for all you did for me.

Chris, 22, Barista, Manchester

I started this course a week after my diagnosis and would recommend to anybody who has just found out, no matter how soon. Inspirational, wonderful facilitators who are a credit to the NHS plus great source of support, knowledge and friendship. I have learned a lot. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Tom, 29, IT Consultant, Newcastle

You have been an amazing help over the past few months especially being there when I found out my dual diagnosis of Hepatitis C . It is impossible to put into words quite how much it helped having someone there who understood and could talk me down from a metaphorical ledge. Your advice, understanding and approachability was invaluable and played a crucial part in helping me to understand and cope with a very traumatic period in my life. Thank you so much.

Emma, 28, Teacher, London

What a great course! I have learned so much, both in terms of facts and how to move forward in my life together with my diagnosis, rather than despite it. You have brought humour and sensitivity to a difficult and emotional process and it has been such a positive experience for me

Patricia, 49, Mental Health Nurse, Exeter

I should like to extend my thanks for a great event today that was most thought provoking and well constructed. I should also like to share my admiration for your apt skills and gentle though assertive approach in presenting this emotionally complex subject matter. Today I was challenged, in a very positive way. Many, many thanks to everybody involved

Peter, 54, Accountant, Brighton

Thank you very much for all your support and advice. I have enjoyed our sessions a lot and gained so much information about HIV. It has been a huge relief and a great experience. At first I did not really know how to deal with my diagnosis but you have given me a lot more confidence, self esteem and hope for the future. God bless you all.

Tom, 27, Retail, London

I just would like to share some good news with you. I met a guy this Saturday, who I thought might be someone I might see more often in the future. I decided to tell him about my status at the second date, that was yesterday. We were walking through Holland Park when I told him. His reaction was completely unanticipated by me when he said …and so what?.

It feels so great and very re-assuring that the first date I tell has such a great reaction.

The step of telling this early, was made possible because of the recent course that gave me the necessary confidence.

Thank you very much!

France

Natalie, France

J’ai profité d’un récent voyage à Londres pour visiter le Mortimer Market Center – un des plus grands centres HIV du pays. J’ai été vraiment très impressionnée par la qualité de l’accueil et l’engagement des équipes qui “coach” les patients. Grace à leur suivi à la fois très professionnel et chaleureux, les patients peuvent reprendre confiance en la vie, à un moment où tout leur semblait perdu.”

The Original Message, before translation

I took advantage of a recent visit to London, to visit the Mortimer Market Centre – one of the largest HIV clinics in the UK. I was really impressed by the warmth of the welcome and the commitment of the team of patient representatives who “ coach” the patients. Thanks to their warm, as well as very professional, support the patients can regain their confidence in life at a time when everything may seem lost

Martine, France

Cela fait 12 ans que je suis séro positive et je n’ai jamais vraiment accepté ma séropositivité. Cependant, quand j’ai vu que la clinique offrait un cours pour “les nouveaux/nouvelles séropositifs/ves, je me suis dit que ce serait une bonne idée d’y aller pour m’aider à faire face à mon status. Je ne savais pas à quoi m’attendre et j’ai été inspirée : non seulement j’ai rencontré des gens super sympas, chacun(e) avec sa propre histoire à partager, mais j’ai surtout appris plein de faits intéressants et utiles sur le virus, comme comment me protéger et proteger ceux autour de moi. Plus encore, j’ai bien rigolé pendant ces 3 jours et cela m’a fait beaucoup de bien. Le cours m’a permis d’aller de l’avant avec ce virus que je n’ai pas choisi d’avoir. Je ne regrette pas une seconde d’avoir participé à ce cours et je dirais même que c’est la meilleure chose que j’ai faite pour accepter mon status. Merci à Chris et les autres personnes pour leur temps, leur humour, leur histoire, leur experience…

The Original Message, before translation

Although I was diagnosed 12 years ago, I never wanted to face the reality of my diagnosis. When I saw that the clinic was now offering a “newly diagnosed course”, I thought that it would be a good idea for me to attend and face up to my diagnosis. I was not sure what to expect but the 3 days were amazing: not only did I meet some truly wonderful people, each with a story to tell, I learnt so much about HIV and taking care of myself and others. Also…. I laughed a lot during those three days which did me the world of good. The course allowed me to move on – despite this virus that I never chose to have -and get on with my life. I learnt that there is a good life ahead of me with HIV. The course was really inspiring, informative, relaxed and… dare I say… fun? I would encourage anyone who is either newly diagnosed or, like me, struggling with their diagnosis, to attend the next course or the one after. It was worth every minute of my time. Thanks to Chris and the others for their time, their humour. their stories and their experience…

Holland

Freek, 30, Holland.

Dear Chris, what a time we’ve been through together. After my diagnosis I really didn’t quite know what to do with myself any longer. I didn’t have anyone around me who really understood and knew what I was going through. You’ve really helped me to get back on top on things, thought me how to deal with my new status and simply get my life back on track. I will never forget your understanding and advice. Thank you so much. Xx

The Original Message, before translation

Lieve Chris, Wat een periode hebben we samen meegemaakt! Na mijn diagnose wist ik even niet goed meer wat ik moest doen. Ik had niemand om me heen die me begreep en die echt wist waar ik doorheen ging. Jij hebt me er weer bovenop geholpen, me geleerd om te gaan met mijn status en gewoon weer mijn leven terug te krijgen. Ik zal jouw begrip en advies nooit vergeten! Heel erg bedankt! xx

Ireland

Thomas, 34, Marketing Director, Ireland

I’ve found all the forums and focus groups extremely interesting, helpful and informative. The range of speakers has been very impressive and represent important organisations – which we, in turn, can influence. For instance, the representative from the Royal College of GPs said he would present our views at their conference the following day.

It is good to know we can influence national policies and the voice of the patient is being heard.

Italy

Lucia, 35, Italy

Benvenuti a tutti ! Siete arrivati al Centro Mortimer Market, Bloomsbury Clinic. Ritengo che questa sia la migliore clinica dedicate all’HIV. qualsiasi siano I vostri bisogni troverete staff dedicato che vi ascoltera’ e aiutera’ lungo questo nuovo cammino. non abbiate paura, non siete da soli e la vita e’ bella. Grazie Bloosmbury!

The Original Message, before translation

Welcome everyone! you’ve landed into Mortimer Market Centre, Bloomsbury Clinic.

I reckon this is the best clinic dedicated to HIV. Whatever your needs you will find dedicated staff who will heed your call and walk with you along this new path. Fear not as you are not alone and life is beautiful. Thank you Bloomsbury!

Jamaica

Rod, 36, Jamaica

When mi lan ah Englan in 2009, mi did mawga down an fenke-fenke. Dem sey mi CD4 was unda 200. Mi swear seh me neva a go live out di year. It gawn up now to over 350. Mi tek time an buil up mi bady wid tonic, vitamin and di new medication weh dem gimme from di Bloomsbury Clinic. Den mi start fi buil up mi mind wid more schoolin, everyday mi run guh down a di library weh dem have a computa centre. Not a day pass yuh nuh fin mi inna de centre a learn more bout computa an internet.

Afta dat, mi apply fi volunteer wid di Volunteer Centre inna Camden an den switch ova to di Citizens Advice Bureau. Mi seh every part mi tun, di people dem mek mi feel welcome. Dem nice yuh see, an mi mek fren from all ova di world.

Today, mi can feel proud fi know seh di likkle learning help mi move up to tun Job Coach wid one a di largest homeless charity inna Englan. None of this woulda happn without the Bloomsbury Clinic and in particular di two patient representatives who hol mi han an guide me through di whole heap a paperwork fi mek mi settle inna dis, mi new adopted country.

Mi tenk unnuh…unnuh boonoonoonoos

Kenya

Bintiye, Kenya

Jambo! Kliniki ya Bloomsbury imeendeleza maisha ya wengi, nikiwa mmoja wao. Nasema asante sana kwa kupigania famasia kando na hospitali kuu, vyumba bora vya matibabu,kuwapa usaidizi wanaohitaji wakili na mnyororo wa chakula baadhi ya utumishi wa aina nyingi. Kwa tabasamu zao na usikilizaji bora, ujumbe unaoenezwa na wanaotuwakilisha ni kwamba, Hakuna Matata, pamoja twaweza.

The Original Message, before translation

Hello there. The Bloomsbury clinic has contributed to the development of the lives of many people, including mine. I’m grateful for your representation of the need for the clinic to have its own pharmacy, better consultation rooms, information to guide those in need of solicitors and Food Chain, amongst many other services. With your smiles and great listening skills, the message relayed to us by our representatives is: No Problem, together we can.

Nigeria

Olori, 25, Nurse, Nigeria

I must acknowledge your strength and dedication. Thank you so much for the encouragement and support. I pray that the Lord will continue to keep and strengthen you. You’ve touched my life in a positive way

The Original Message, before translation

Modupe funn ise takun takun ti en se. Olorun a san yin ni esan ire pelu okun ati agbara lati ma tesi iwa ju

Pakistan

Asif, 29, University Lecturer, Pakistan

My diagnosis in December 2012 completely shattered my world. The news was like a knife piercing my heart and raised numerous questions in my mind: How can I continue to live? What does the future hold for me? What will society, friends and family think of me? Who would want to be with me knowing I have this virus inside me?

Indeed, growing up as a closeted gay Muslim Pakistani man had been a challenge in itself but now I would have to contend with this disease. Feelings of doubt, anxiety, depression and fear almost consumed me to the point of despair and just when I almost lost all hope there was a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the Bloomsbury clinic.

I was taken aback at the kindness, warmth and supporting atmosphere created by the staff of the clinic. The doctors, nurses, health advisors and patient representatives are literally on the front line and at war against HIV. For me the clinic was a beacon of hope, a haven and somewhere I could turn to during the dark times experienced during the first year of diagnosis.

Now two years on I am fit, healthy and happy and know that life does go on! All I can say is I would not have reached this point without the wonderful staff of this blessed clinic.

Puerto Rico

Ricardo, 37, Puerto Rico

Estoy muy contento de haber decidido ingresar al taller para pacientes recientemente diagnosticados justo después de recibir las noticias de mi diagnóstico. Tengo tres razones:

  1. El tener la información correcta equivale a sentirse libre. En el taller recibí toda la información que necesito hoy para manejar mi condición de manera exitosa. Ya no siento la angustia que me dio al recibir el diagnóstico.
  2. Conocí otros en la misma situación. Ahora soy parte de una comunidad exitosa. Nos une el nuevo proceso de vida que enfrentamos juntos, así como el respeto por nuestras diferencias. No me siento solo.
  3. Los representantes de pacientes son muy buenos embajadores del espíritu del Centro. Por ellos y allí me siento muy bienvenido, escuchado, bien cuidado, no juzgado.

Es increíble pensar que el mismo lugar donde recibes una de las noticias mas impactantes de tu vida, es también el lugar done te sientes mas cómodo, mejor recibido. Siempre tengo ganas de llegar a mis citas médicas. Es irónico pensar, debido a la atención que recibo en el centro, cada vez tengo que ir con menos frecuencia.

Si. Mi vida ha cambiado. Se ha puesto mejor

The Original Message, before translation

I’m so happy I joined the newly diagnosed course shortly after my diagnosis. There are 3 main reasons for this:

  1. Knowledge is freedom. The course has provided me with all the essential information to manage the condition successfully today. Understanding clearly, with facts, how to stay healthy and live a full life has done away the huge emotional burden I was carrying after diagnosis.
  2. I met others like me. I don’t feel singled out. I’m part of a thriving community. I love its diversity as well as the similarities that bring us together. I don’t feel alone.
  3. The patient representatives embody the spirit of the Center at large. It is an incredibly welcoming place. Where one feels listened to, not judged, pampered, looked after.

Incredible to think that the place where one receives the hard hitting news of a life changing condition, can also become a haven. I look forward to coming for my medical appointments. Ironically, with their constant guidance and care, appointments tend to be less and less over time.

My life has changed, and for the better.

Poland

Tristan & Krysztian, 25/27, Construction Workers, Poland

Test results were like a bolt from the blue for us. Those days were like a night mare and for us virus meant earlier death and terrible disease. We hit the Bloomsbury Clinic. It turned out that this place is special and we couldn`t hit better. Here we were taught how to live with virus, we found support and extremely high level of health care. We strongly recommend Newly Diagnosed Course, which has changed our lives. HIV is not a problem for us any more. We can live with it and we are sure we have bright future ahead with a long life expectancy.

The Original Message, before translation

Wiadomość o tym, że jesteśmy nosicielami wirusa HIV spadła na nas jak grom z jasnego nieba. Świat nam się zawalił a wirus oznaczał tylko jedno – przedwczesną śmierć poprzedzoną straszną chorobą. Trafiliśmy do Bloomsbury Clinic. Szybko się okazało, że jest to miejsce szczególne, i że lepiej trafić nie mogliśmy. Tu nauczyliśmy się żyć z wirusem HIV, znaleźliśmy wsparcie i opiekę medyczną na najwyższym poziomie. Szczególnie polecamy kurs Newly Diagnosed Course, który zmienił nasze życie. HIV już nie jest dla nas problemem. Umiemy z nim szczęśliwie żyć, patrząc pozytywnie w przyszłość.

Romania

Claudiu, 28, Graphic Designer, Romania

I’ve been living with HIV for the past two and a half years. When I first received my diagnosis I was in a busy hospital hallway in Bucharest. No chairs, no explanation an no time to react. In fact, I was more unhappy with the experience than I was with the news it brought me.

I say ‘first’ because a short while after, when I was back in London, I decided I needed to find out again, as it were. I took the test at Mortimer Market Centre and I couldn’t find enough words of praise them for their compassion and support.

The highly competent yet friendly environment, the 100% dedication of my carers helped me regain not only my health but also my confidence. Thanks to them I am now able to live a truly positive life, in which HIV plays but a negligible part.

The Original Message, before translation

Sînt seropozitiv de doi ani jumate. Cînd am primit prima oară diagnosticul eram in București, într-un hol aglomerat de spital. Nu stăteam pe un scaun, nu mi s-a explicat nimic, nu am avut nici timp să reacționez. Am fost atît de nemulțumit cu acea experiență încît am simțit nevoia să aflu inca o data, cum ar veni. La cîteva săptămîni eram înapoi în Londra și m-am prezentat pentru un nou test la Mortimer Market Centre. Nu am suficiente cuvinte de laudă pentru această clinică. Profesionismul relaxat, competența si dedicația cu care am fost primit m-au ajutat să-mi redobîndesc nu doar sănătatea ci și încrederea in sine. Datorită îngrijirii lor sînt azi un om mai întreg. Pot spune chiar că HIV nu mai reprezintă decît o parte neglijabilă din viața mea.

Russia

Irina, 31, Russia

Bloomsbury changed and enlarged my vision about HIV positive people . I got lots of information and real mental support there.As i had no one to talk about it. Bloomsbury inspires me to talk about HIV problem more open, to educate other people around. And feel like I have all opportunities to work, builf my career, live and follow my dreams.

The Original Message, before translation

Блумсберри центр изменил мое мнение на мою ситуацию о ВИЧ положительных и мой статус. Я узнала много нового и получила настоящую эмоциональную поддержку, так как мне не с кем было даже поговорить об этом. Блумсберри вдохновляет меня гворить о проблеме более открыто, рассказывать об этом другим людям.И я чувствую,что у меня есть все возможности работать, строить карьеру, жить и следовать моим мечтам.

Spain

Angel, 28, Fashion, Spain

For the last ten years I have been a patient at the Bloomsbury Clinic. I am very great full that I have assess to such a fine a Clinic that provides me with such exceptional talented staff from my Consultant to the nurses to the pateint representatives. They are Kind. Professional, Up to date with treatment, But most importantly they under stand me and therefore are best able to provide me with the care I need. Simply said I would not be alive today with out the care of The Bloomsbury Clinic, And for this I am truly greatfull.

The Original Message, before translation

Durante los ultimos diez años he sido un paciente en la cli¬nica Bloomsbury. Estoy muy agradecido por tener acceso a una clinica excelente, que me proporciona un personal sanitario excepcional, desde el jefe del equipo medico a los enfermeros, pasando por los representantes de los pacientes. Son amables. Profesionales. Puestos al dia en los ultimos tratamientos. Pero lo mas importante es que me comprenden, y por tanto, son capaces de proporcionarme el cuidado que necesito. Solo digo que no estaria vivo hoy si no fuera por el cuidado proporcionado por la clinica Bloosmbury. Y por ello, estoy tremendamente agradecido

Pablo, 28, Film Director, Spain

I’m currently volunteering in Nicaragua for 6 months. Working on a sustainable development entrepreneurship project.

I feel super healthy and very comfortable now about being HIV positive. All thanks to the Mortimer Market personal development workshops. And their superb medical help. I would not be here without them. And I am not exaggerating.

If you need any help dealing with being HIV positive please go to any of the Mortimer courses and put it behind you. I have and feel much better and happier.

The Original Message, before translation

Actualmente estoy trabajando como voluntario en Nicaragua por 6 meses. Trabajo en un proyecto de iniciativa empresarial y de desarrollo sostenible.

Me siento muy feliz y mi salud no podría ser mejor. No sólo eso sino que ahora me siento estupendamente cómodo acerca de ser VIH positivo. Todo gracias a los talleres de desarrollo personal impartidos por el centro médico de Mortimer Market y su excelente atención médica. Esto me hace pensar que en realidad yo no estaría aquí sin ellos, y no exagero.

Así que si quieres dejar atrás la aflicción que puede causar el ser VIH positivo. Sinceramente recomiendo asistir y apoyar sus talleres y así poder superarlo. Yo ya siento haberlo superado y ahora vivo sintiéndome mucho mejor y más feliz.

Sudan

Jasim, Sudan

السلام عليكم

من اسوأ ايام حياتي هي اللحظة التي عرفت فيها نتيجة فحص الدم

عندما اخبرني الطبيب بان موجب للفيروس … فيروس الاتش اي في

كانت صدمة قوية وكان احدهم ضربني بالساطور على رأسي

شاحنة لوري دعمتني

لم استطيع استيعاب انني اصبت بهذا المرض

الخوف والحزن ملأ قلبي

حالتي الصحية كانت متدهورة

والطبيب امر ان يدخلوني المستشفى فترة

وكانت ايام صعبة ومخيفة ومؤلمة

لكن موظفو ال Bloomsbery Clinic

كانو سند في ايام صعبة

اتذكر احدهم زارني في المستشفى و اهداني صندوق كبير من الشوكولاتة

وكان دوما يسال عني وحتى بعد خروجي من المستشفى

ساعدنا في اشياء كثيرة واصبح صديق لي

دائما يشجعني

الدكاترةغالبيتهم ممتازين خصوصا البروفيسور الذي اشرف على علاجي

لم يكل ولم يمل ودائما كان يشرف على علاجي ويعطيني الامل

الممرضين ايضا كان كثير منهم ممثازين

اشكرهم جميعا على ما فعلوه

جاسم

The Original Message, before translation

One of the worst moments of my life when i discovered i was

positive for the HIV

when i knew the result it was the a huge shock,

Like someone hit me with a cleaver on my head ,

like i ve been hit by a truck,

I couldnt believe i got that virus in me i couldnt cope with the knowing

Fear and sadness filled my heart,

my health was very bad so the doctor admitted me to the hospital

It was difficult,painful and scary days

But Bloomsbery clinic team were a great help in those days

till now they are.

One of the patient representatives visited me in the hospital , he always asked if i was okey , he helping me with many things,

i see him as a friend now

Most of the Doctors are good, specially the professor who

helped me till he made sure i was okey ,

he always asked about my health and how i feel

i couldnt thank him enough.

Also the nurses , many of them were very nice

i thank all of them

South Africa

Pieter, 31, Policy Advisor, South Africa

Would I recommend this service to a friend or family member if they needed similar care? From my experience at Mortimer Market, yes, absolutely.

You will get all the help you could possibly need – from newly diagnosed courses to meeting others; being educated by key medics in the field at regular forums (which update you on the latest research findings) to in house counselling and psychotherapy; easy access to health advisors or patient reps if you need to swing past with a question; and of course world class medics and medication.

Everyone is very welcoming and I have never felt rushed during any of my meetings with my Dr or the nurse who got me started on meds (she was great!) And follow-up calls to check how things were going too. All too easy.

Apart from great care, a community feel and nice environment, the main thing I have gained from my experience at Mortimer Market is the absolute re-instilling of ‘hope’. This was the key thing that took a knock when I found out. So, onwards and upwards with the rest of my life.

Veel sterkte! (good luck)

UGANDA (Kiga)

Abeho, Tainee Social Worker, Uganda

I dont know if i would still be alive had it not been your clinic and and the help you are giving me. I was on my death bed and had lost hope knowing the virus that took my parents, most of my friends and relatives during the HIV peak in Uganda, would take me too.

Thank you for the medication, advice and giving me hope that if i look after myself, eat healthy and exercise to reduse fat, i will live longer and see my grandchildren God willing.

The Original Message, before translation

Mbweenu tindananya yabakuri nkyariho kuri atari obuyambi obumurampereza omwirwariro ryanyu. Nkaba nahikire ahanchwaba zarufu, nayewhire amasiko ndamanya eshaha yoona ndaza kukurata abazaire bangye, banwani bangye nabanyabuzare abafire obwakakooko katahirire abantu omuri Uganda.

Mwebare emibazi, nokumpana nanye nkagyira amasiko kuninza kubaho nayefaho omubindarya nokwereberera okukora ebirananura omubiri nkareka kutaho ebishaju, ndaza kuhangara nanye ndebe abijukuru ruhanga yaba akikunzire.

USA

Anthony, USA and Italy

The Bloomsbury is such an important place – it helped me enormously during the first year following my diagnosis, and continues to do so. Coming to Bloomsbury is not just about getting my medical needs looked after — I come here for support, inspiration, new information about issues relating to HIV, and most of all to feel that I am part of a community. After completing the Newly Diagnosed Course – and continuing to attend the Network forums – I can truly say that I look forward to every trip I make to Bloomsbury. It is a place where I feel cared for and respected, a place where I feel I belong.

Christopher, 38, Marketing, USA

I went into the Newly Diagnosed Course frustrated, resistant, and rejecting my invitation to a club that I never wanted to be in. Probably a lot like anyone who feels as though they’ve been hit a little too hard by an unforgiving reality. I wanted to walk the other way.

Urged along by a partner who believed in the potential that the group promised, I today stand on the other side of a 3-week course which has done more than relieve me of that initial resentment. In some ways, I have been transformed by the experience – in the sense that it was a very solid, informative, and therapeutic first step to a lifelong relationship with a new facet of my identity.

Moreover, the facilitators were generous, knowledgable, caring, respectful, and supportive of every one of the diverse individuals in the room: partnered, single, male, female, black, white.

As a group experience, the process was rewarding, relieving, and reinvigorating.

Sean, New York, USA

I just wanted to say how moved and proud I was listening to the presentations today and how happy I was to be even a small part of the fundraiser. When I think back to that first year of diagnosis there was so much to adjust to and coming to Bloomsbury has meant everything, in terms of keeping me healthy, stable and supported. That is thanks in such large part to the incredible work that the Patient Rep team does, building a supportive welcoming community there. It is truly one of my favourite places to be. I was so moved listening to the stories from the Emergency Fund and so inspired by the idea of how the Patient Reps are empowering so many people and transforming lives, including me. Congratulations on the event!

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Richard, London

Thank you for sharing your time, knowledge and experience and courage with us!

Mohammed, Westminster

Thanks for giving me back my life and thanks for giving me hope. From now on I will be seeing my life differently. Thanks for everything over the last three weeks it has been a great course.

Ola, 43, Bow

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your time, support and more importantly faith that we can embrace our HIV status with a degree of confidence and pride

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