Community News

Positive Walks – HIV and Healthy

Besi Besemar September 23, 2016

Positive Walks is a Brighton based walking group for anyone affected by HIV/AIDS.


They offer monthly meet ups for walks in the countryside, to get fit, keep fit, blow away the cobwebs, socialise, keep the mind active and clear, or just to interact and connect with nature.

Local resident Jason Lupi created Positive Walks in the spring of 2016. HIV+ for 24 years, Jason has always had a love of walking, with a keen interest in nature and wildlife. When the warmer months started each year he decided to go for long country walks as often as he could taking advantage of the South Downs National Park. Through experiencing the benefits and rewards of getting out of the city and into the countryside, he started the group so others could join him and benefit from the experience. The group is primarily for anyone living with HIV.

The daily rigour of taking pills, side effects, work, and other added pressure living with HIV was the main decision why he opened a Facebook group; to offer others the opportunity to get away from their daily routines and a chance to connect with the natural environment around Brighton.

Studies have proven that exposure to nature has a physiological effect on the mind, including stress relief, contentment and feelings of wonder and wellbeing which help with depression. Walking also helps lower blood pressure, it stimulates the brain and helps concentration. So with added light physical exertion; it’s great for both your body and mind.

The walks are of mixed terrain and length; nothing too long or strenuous, to include most able-bodied people. Disabled access is a rarity, however it is sometimes available depending on the walking area. There is no time or speed limit, so a relaxing and social walk is experienced by everyone taking part. Walks start around 10.30am in the morning.

The number of members of the group has increased since its beginning and a regular small group manage to meet up regularly. It is advisable to bring along a packed lunch and drinks, but the group sometimes stop at a pub or cafe at the end of the walk. All the details of the walks are included on the facebook group and public transport is used to get to the meeting points.

With the summer coming to an end, the walks will still continue through the Autumn with possibly even the odd walk during the winter.

Positive Walks Facebook group is a secret closed group for confidentiality reasons, if you are interested in joining the walks contact Jason at – to be added to the email notifications.

Paul a group member, said: “I lost my husband of 17 years to cancer 4 years ago suddenly, and then after an one-time indiscretion became HIV+ just over 2 years ago. I became introvert and reclusive through the time after dealing with both loss, and life changing situations. I met with Jason and we discussed his ambition on the start-up of this group. Although the group is in its infancy, I find it warm, welcoming and the feeling of being inclusive without stigma. The walks arranged and attended are well thought out for all abilities, local, and a great avenue for socialising both during and after. It makes a change to be away from the pub, and may they long continue and prosper.” 

Another group member Duncan added: “Moving back to the UK in 2011, after living in Spain for 12 years, I knew very few people. Within 18 months I was diagnosed with HIV and cancer, there were many complications and when I was eventually well enough to start going out, I found myself almost totally isolated. Going on the walks has given me a chance to meet new people and try to regain my confidence. I’ve always loved the countryside, but finding the motivation to make the effort and go is not easy when you are doing it alone. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the walks I’ve been on, and always look forward to the next”. 

To view the Positive Walk Facebook group, click here: