Working With African Communities to Reduce HIV

Africans living in Forth Valley are now getting help in a joint project between staff from NHS Forth Valley and Waverley Care, Scotland’s HIV and Hepatitis C charity which aims to raise awareness of HIV and reduce transmission of the virus.

The need for the new service comes in response to an assessment and report by NHS Forth Valley which identified improved engagement with African communities as a key aim of its HIV prevention strategy for the years ahead. Staff from Waverley Care travelled to the sexual health clinic at Falkirk Community Hospital for the launch.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Genito-Urinary Medicine and HIV, Dr Kirsty Abu-Rajab said: “Key issues for people from African countries include late diagnosis of HIV, and isolation. A needs assessment by NHS Forth Valley, carried out in partnership with HIV Scotland, suggested that a co-ordinated response was required to engage with Africans living in Forth Valley, using culturally sensitive staff and engaging with organisations in
touch or working with Africans.

“Waverley Care has been delivering HIV prevention and support services to Africans in Scotland since 2004 and I am confident that this joint project will be extremely successful. Waverley Care has only been working with us for a few months and already we have seen strong signs of community engagement which is very optimistic.”

To contact Waverley Care Forth Valley for information and advice call 07718 970591 or email

(Back – Left to right) Mildred Zimunya (African Health Project Manager), Bibiana Zirra (African Health Project Worker) Dr Kirsty Abu-Rajab, Ann McGregor (Blood Borne Virus Project Coordinator), Hazel Somerville (Senior Sexual Health Advisor/Practitioner),

Front – Lauren Johnson (Clinical Support Nurse) and Lyn Surgenor (Sexual Health Nurse Advisor)