Being a member of Ourspace gave me hope from seeing another person pregnant at the first meeting I attended. Even though at the hospital they told me it is possible for me to get pregnant, I didn’t really believe and then when I saw a lady living with HIV actually pregnant, I believed. Another woman living with HIV told me she has a daughter that is 18 years old. She shared information about the fact that you can have a normal delivery unlike before when you could only have c- section .I was not a mother but through the meeting I am now one☺ Learning about undetectable was from coming to the meeting and I have also learnt a lot of other self-management ideas and skills.
I was fearful about how I will survive and get life a better life but now I know having HIV is not a death warrant. A lot of people are hiding and they don’t have to. When you don’t come you may not know. At the hospital, sometimes, there is no time to learn and you don’t hear much about HIV from the news but there is a lot to learn at the meeting because time is specifically made out for learning.
Being a member of Ourspace has given me strength to carry on. Keeps me alive and make me feel I can do more. I came to the meeting and I have become enlightened. Now I educate people who are not in the community. I use my learning to educate about misconceptions.
Being a member of Ourspace has also helped me to meet other people who know about local resources in Peterborough and helpful tips that have supported me to live better as a member of the Peterborough community. I have been encouraged. I feel like I have been given life, I am so open and feel at home with the members that I share feelings that I can’t share with my family. That has given me relief and I am 100% free. I want us to expand us I want people to learn what I learnt and what helped me. HIV is not a death warrant you can manage it and have a better life that you can imagine I am a living witness!
The idea of a peer support group sounded strange because it was new but I always knew from diagnosis that I wanted to meet other people living with HIV(peers) but I dint know that is what peers are.
Since being a member of Ourspace I have grown a lot. It is from meeting people like myself, learning a lot of life skills and how to live well with HIV. Sometimes I also learn what not to do. Other times I share what has worked and not worked for me in my journey of living with HIV. The best thing is that it is all confidential and we all respect each other.
I have also learnt where to go across the UK both physically and on the internet to get the right information about what HIV is and what it isn’t. It has also allowed me to meet networks of people living with HIV including professionals which has helped me to carry on with my career and aspirations for life outside HIV.
I have attended conferences, events both social and scientific and I am certainly a better and more confident person who has learnt to feel normal and it certainly feels great knowing there are people like me in Peterborough that I am able to be myself around and everyday it gives me physical emotional and psychological relief. They are now like my family ☺
Ourspace has been important to me in so many ways. There was a time we had a speaker who first told us that if we are undetectable we cannot transmit HIV and people cannot acquire HIV from us. This was a big relief for me not having to worry about hurting other people. This has helped me open up about getting into a relationship. I can socialize with members of Ourspace openly and freely which helps me not to be isolated