WISE-UP+ Ageing with HIV

WISE UP+ Ageing with HIV was developed from Dr Jacqui Stevenson’s research work, entitled ‘I was not meant to be here, and I’m still here’: a feminist participatory and assets-based exploration of women’s experiences of ageing with HIV in London.

The approach that was used focused on research to make change, or do ‘advocacy’. This model used stories and storytelling to understand women’s experiences of ageing with HIV and to ensure that women were both involved in and shaped the research themselves; the research was done with the women rather than being done to them or about them.

WISE UP+ Ageing with HIV was a weekend retreat for women aged 45 and over, living with HIV. The WISE UP+ programme engages with women in all our diversity, in mixed workshops and, through a new strategy initiated in 2019, in age-specific groups focused on shared issues at different life stages. WISE UP+ Ageing with HIV was the first workshop delivered within this strategy.

Sessions at this workshop included:

  • Recent research updates on ageing with HIV
  • Managing the menopause
  • Co-morbidities and HIV
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Addressing loneliness and isolation
  • Priorities for developing a support group for women in the menopause
  • Co-developing patient and clinician resources on HIV and menopause
  • Developing an advocacy agenda for older women living with HIV.

The workshop was funded by an educational grant from Gilead Sciences Ltd and hosted at the offices of Terrence Higgins Trust. We are grateful to both for their support.

The workshop content, lead facilitation and evaluation were delivered by Dr Jacqui Stevenson, with support from Sophia Forum trustees.

The workshop report is available here.