A little bit about us
Since 1985 the team at Thames Valley Positive Support has worked hard to make a significant difference to people living with HIV across Berkshire. Originally an amalgamation of several different HIV support groups in the area, TVPS now stands proudly as the only HIV charity in Berkshire and in January 2020, expanded to include HIV support in North Hampshire. Our work spans prevention, testing and post-diagnosis support.
That all people are aware of their HIV status, have the right level of support if they are positive and are sufficiently informed to protect themselves if they are negative.
Our core purpose:
- To provide emotional and practical support to those living with, or affected by, the virus and to empower them to achieve a full and rewarding life.
- To increase the level of testing to ensure people know their HIV status and to avoid late diagnosis.
- To increase awareness and information so new infections can be prevented.
A positive diagnosis can be a very frightening experience and we are here to provide information, reassurance and support in a totally confidential and supportive environment.
The introduction of anti-retroviral drugs in the early 90’s and the continuing medical advances means that many positive people now live a normal life span, albeit with side effects of the medication. However, the stigma associated with the virus is as strong as it has ever been and TVPS prides itself on its ability to constantly challenge that stigma and dispel the myths that surround this often-misunderstood condition.
Unlike the 1980’s there is no single group where HIV is more prevalent. It is a virus that can affect anyone, and our client base is reflective of this, being made up of all sections of the community. Everything we do is about making life better for people living with HIV in Berkshire and North Hampshire, and we are currently supporting approximately 550 people who are HIV positive.
Slough and Reading, Berkshire’s two major towns, have a higher than average prevalence of HIV than many major UK cities. This means there are more positive people living in our county than in many of our major cities including Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds, meaning our support services are more needed in the county than ever.
Find out more: HIV support
Our free testing services are ever more critical as on top of the population known to be positive, there are people who are positive but still undiagnosed, risking transmission to others and damage to their long-term health.
Find out more: HIV testing