020 7791 2855 talktome@positiveeast.org.uk 159 Mile End Road, London E1 4AQ

Community Empowerment Champions

Empowerment and Self-Stigma 5-day course

Are you a gay man, bisexual man or man who has sex with men –  and living with HIV? Want to feel more confident and in control of your HIV positive status? 

Our new 5 part course can help you: 
  • Build a better, more positive relationship with yourself; 
  • Increase your self-esteem; 
  • Help you develop new skills to live a life free of internalised stigma.  

Running over 5 consecutive Saturdays from January 14th 2023, this series of four hour workshops each run from 10am to 2pm (arrive for 9.30) with lunch provided. We can cover your travel expenses, any additional carer costs, and there’ll be a certificate of attendance at the end. 

Topics covered include:
  • Understanding what HIV is; U=U and living well with HIV
  • Exploring and understanding internalised/self-stigma
  • Building self-confidence; self-esteem and an individual’s sense of power
  • Developing skills; including ambassador, public and self-advocacy skills
  • Developing an Empowerment Champions support network

They are all in-person at Positive East’s building, 159 Mile End Road, London E1 4AQ – right next to Stepney Green Underground Station.  

To find out more: 

Come and join us!

“I know how to remove stigma from my life now. Before I was not able to understand stigma or able to remove it when I had psychological work with my therapist.” 

Next Training Dates

Gay, Bi and MSM group date:
      • 14 January 2023
      • 21 January
      • 28 January
      • 4 February
      • 11 February

These workshops are open to gay, bi and MSM men (cis and trans) and non-binary people and will take place on Saturdays at Positive East.

The workshops are open to anyone living or receiving their HIV clinical care in the East London Boroughs of:

      • Tower Hamlets
      • Newham
      • Redbridge
      • Waltham Forest
      • Havering
      • Hackney
      • City of London

All the workshops take place in person at Positive East

159 Mile End Road, London, E1 4AQ

We will ask that you take a COVID test before each session. We will be able to provide these tests for you. Email Mina for more information.

The workshops will take place at Positive East and will involve a mix of group work and self-reflection. Each workshop will be delivered by people living with HIV, who are considered experts in the field.  Each session will last approximately 4 hours and will involve lunch and your travel expenses will be reimbursed.

The five half-day Empowerment sessions offer a safe and confidential space to help you develop new skills to promote your sense of well-being by:

      • Helping you feel more confident and feel better about yourself living with HIV
      • Develop skills to live a life free of internalised stigma.
      • Know more about HIV and transmission including U=U and what living well with HIV means
      • Opportunity to develop public and self-advocacy skills
      • Be part of the Empowerment Champion support network
      • Get a Certificate of attendance

Please watch our short video where Mina Kakaiya, our Stigma Training Programme Coordinator, explains the course and what to expect.  


For more information, or to reserve your space, please contact Mina Kakaiya

Course Background

Despite all the advances in HIV clinical treatment and care, for many people living with HIV life can be difficult because of the internal and external stigma associated with HIV that can have a negative impact on their mental health and quality of life. HIV stigma is often based on outdated ideas, perceptions and believes made worse by discrimination in other areas like gender, religion, sexuality, or race. People can experience stigma in any areas of their life, such as within relationships, family, at work, or at places where they socialise.

So, what is Internalised/self-stigma? 

It refers to absorbed negative beliefs and feelings about oneself. In this case, it relates to an individual’s feelings of devaluation due to an HIV-positive diagnosis.  The Empowerment and Self-Stigma programme is a Fast Track Cities initiative developed in partnership with the Healthy London Partnership and six other HIV charities including Positive East. The aim of this programme is to contribute to the wider United Nations’ 90-90-90 goals (90% of people living with HIV were knowing of their HIV status; 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status were on treatment; 90% of people on treatment have a suppressed viral load) and to help achieve the 2030 ‘getting to zero’ goals – zero new cases of HIV, zero preventable deaths and 100 per cent of HIV positive people living well.
This is in addition to reaching a ‘zero HIV stigma’ attitude and stamping out stigma and discrimination.