Lunch Positive, the HIV lunch club, marked World AIDS Day 2017 on Friday, December 1, with an extra special lunch club session attended by the Mayor of Brighton Hove, Cllr. Mo Marsh.
The Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Mo Marsh, fifty-four lunch club members, together with the entire volunteer team at Lunch Positive shared friendly social time together over a freshly cooked healthy meal, allowing people to commemorate World AIDS Day, in their own way.
There was reflection on the diversity of challenges that HIV can still present today, together with the advances we have seen in recent years that most would have thought impossible when first diagnosed.
For those bereaved quiet time was spent in personal thought, and many shared supportive conversations remembering those who are sadly no longer with us and the impact of loss.
The Mayor opened the lunch session with some welcoming words, including an important acknowledgement that HIV stigma sadly still exists, the impact that HIV stigma has on people’s lives and prospects, and the importance of services such as Lunch Positive.
Gary Pargeter, Service Manager at Lunch Positive, said: “It was a wonderful lunch club session and we are so grateful to everyone who came along and volunteered.
“As always, friendship, sense of community and genuine supportiveness was in abundance which is exactly why we are all so committed to the HIV lunch club.
“World AIDS Day is the annual community remembrance and commemoration of those we have lost, together with solidarity for those still living with HIV and the challenges that many face.
“However there isn’t a week goes by that we don’t reflect on the continuing issues that many people with HIV continue to experience including diminished health, experience of stigma and discrimination, social isolation, and the impact on daily living.
“As an HIV peer-led organisation we’re constantly striving to address and combat these. We’re honoured to know so many people from our HIV community as lunch club members, and to be able to provide a service that brings people together in such positive ways, and means so much to so many.
Thank you to all our members, volunteers, and wonderful supporters for all you do on this special day, and all others.”