A Community Works’ representative will help ensure that the HIV community is involved in plans for the city to work towards becoming the first UK city to reduce HIV to zero.
The Council’s Health & Wellbeing Board have agreed to work towards the goal of zero new HIV infections, zero HIV related deaths, and zero HIV stigma in Brighton and Hove.
This will make Brighton & Hove an HIV fast-track city and the only city in the UK so far, to make this commitment.
The Council is putting together a steering group which will oversee the fast-track city initiative.
Gary Pargeter, the project manager at Lunch Positive, who is Community Works’ new HIV representative will represent Community Works’ members who work with and support people with HIV locally, and will engage with the HIV community to ensure their views and experiences are also taken into account.
A key aspect of the towards zero strategy is also to engage more widely within the voluntary and community sector, and Gary will undertake an important role in this.
Gary said of his new role: “I’m delighted to be representing local voluntary groups and organisations as part of this important initiative. I look forward to ensuring that the local HIV community’s experiences inform the plans and decisions taken by the steering group.”
Sally Polanski, CEO of Community Works added: “It is excellent news that the Council has agreed to work towards reducing HIV to zero. We are looking forward to Gary representing our members and supporting the HIV community to be involved in this very important initiative.”
Community Works is the local support organisation for community groups, voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises in Brighton, Hove, Adur and Worthing. Its 35 volunteer representatives share Community Works’ members’ views and knowledge with those responsible for planning and providing local services and projects.
Taking over the role of LGBT community rep from Gary Pargeter, is Reuben Davidson, from Allsorts Youth Project, who will represent Community Works’ members who work with and support LGBT people in the city.
Lunch Positive is a weekly Lunch club who provide a healthy meal each Friday to people who are HIV+.
Allsorts Youth Project supports and empowers young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU) of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.