Wednesday, March 2, 2011

HIV/AIDS Organisations.

Conifer house.
32-36 Prospect Street,
 North Humberside,
 HU2 8PX.
Tel: 01482 336336

Corner house.
29  Percy Street,
North Humberside,
HU2 8HL.


Yorkshire mesmac.
Mesmac head office
P.O box 417,
0113 2444209
Cottingham GUM clinic
Castle hill hospital,
GUM clinic – sexual health clinic
Castle Road,
HU16 5JQ.

The Mercury Trust.
44, Portland Street,
01482 755600

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you catch HIV ?

HIV can only be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids containing blood such as semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
The virus is transmitted by infected blood cells entering the body usually by:
·          Unprotected penetrative anal or vaginal intercourse,
·          Oral sex - although this is less common it is still a risk, especially if there are ulcers, sores or bleeding gums etc in the mouth.
·          The sharing of drug needle’s (as a small amount of blood is drawn back into the needle when withdrawn then injected into the next person),
·          Mother to baby - although with new medicines a mother can give birth to a healthy HIV negative baby.
·          HIV from blood transfusions – blood in the U.K is now screened and is safe although this may not be the case in other countries.
HIV cannot be transmitted by:
·         Toilet seats
·         Kissing / saliva
·         Sweat
·         Tears
·         Urine
·         Hugging/touching
·         Coughing/sneezing
Although HIV is present in sweat, tears, saliva and urine, the concentration of the virus in these fluids is too low for successful transmission.
For transmission of the HI virus, the quality, quantity and route of the HI virus must be strong enough to get into the bloodstream and invade the immune system.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The History of HIV/AIDS

The first reported cases of AIDS were back in 1981 in the USA. Doctors had come across a rare set of symptoms which included: pneumonia (caused by a parasite called Pneumocystis carinni), cytomegalovirus infections, thrush and Karposi’s sarcoma (a rare form of skin cancer). The patients that were suffering with these symptoms were all young homosexual men with limited immune systems.
Soon after this over in central Africa doctors were treating patients with a new disease that also undermined the immune system and caused diarrhoea and weight loss, namely “slims disease”, however these patients were all heterosexual. The causes and modes of transmission were not yet known. In 1983 it was discovered that this disease was caused by a virus, known to be LAV (lymphadenopathy – associated virus) and HTLV – III (human T cell lymphotropic virus type III). In May 1986 the virus was renamed HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
Two viruses are now associated with AIDS: HIV – 1 and HIV -2.
HIV-1 is associated with infections in Central, East and southern Africa, North and South America, Europe and the rest of the world.
HIV-2 was discovered in West Africa (Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal) in 1986 and it is mostly restricted to West Africa.
HIV-2 is similar to HIV-1, but HIV-2 is less pathogenic than HIV-1, and HIV-2 infections have a longer latency period with slower progression to disease, lower viral counts and lower rates of transmission

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Volunteering in Africa and the UK

The primary aim of our Walk for Aids is to raise money to fund 3 volunteers travelling to Africa to work for two weeks in a orphanage for children living with HIV/AIDS. These are children whose parents have died of AIDS related illnesses.

80% of children who are HIV positive in the world live in Africa and we want to do something to help not just by raising money, buy donating time and gaining experience which we can use to help in the fight against AIDS.

We believe that the experience of working on this project will be transformational. Many of our young volunteers have never worked, not because they do not want to, but because there simply are not enough jobs in Hull or because like too many young people they have no qualifications. Some are from families where they are part of a third generation that has never worked, while others have faced discrimination and rejection because of their gender, sexuality or simply never got the chance of a decent education due to bullying and intimidation at school.

But all of them want to change that and we think that giving them a chance to travel and work with children far more disadvantaged that they are will inspire them to greater achievements. There will be no free rides: everyone travelling to Africa will have earned their place through their volunteering efforts here in the UK and will be expected to use their experiences when they return to help us to continue our campaign to raise awareness of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This will be a very moving experience for our volunteers, it is certainly not a holiday. They will assist in taking care of the orphans and giving them the individual attention they desperately need including:

  • Teaching the children basic English lessons
  • Reading children's books to them
  • Playing games, singing songs, and doing drawings with them
  • Helping refurbish the orphanage buildings
  • Helping to cook for and bathe the orphans

They will also be involved in AIDS awareness work by visiting local schools and community centre to

  • Explain what the HIV/AIDS virus is and how it affects the human body
  • Educate people about how the virus is transmitted and how infection can be prevented
  • Explain how, after infection, life can be prolonged through medication, healthy food, and a more health lifestyle.
In preparation for the trip we will be teaching all volunteers about HIV/AIDS and helping them to work with communities and schools here in the UK to communicate the same messages. There is still a great deal of misunderstanding and myth in the UK. 25% of people who are HIV positive do not know they are infected because they have never been tested.

Our help in donating to this project will make a real difference It will inspire young people to change lives both here and in Africa, and most importantly the impact of your donation will continue to have a real effect long after the initial Africa Project.

Please click on the link to the right and donate now to help tackle this global problem

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Join us for the Humber Coastal Walk for AIDS

One of the casualties of the public sector cuts has been support for HIV/AIDS. What little funding there has been in the past few years is no longer ring fenced, which means that local authorities can now use whatever limited funds they do receive for other purposes. In many instances the funding has simply stopped and people employed in raising awareness and providing support have been made redundant.

What that means for small charities and social enterprises like Mercury Trust is that there will be greater demands on us to deliver - all part of the Big Society - but at the same time there is less money available for us to do the work and we are having to be far more creative in raising money ourselves.

We received a small amount of funding last year from Sports Relief and we are using some of that money to both raise awareness of the issue and promote improved health by organising a challenging Walk for AIDS in June.

The Walk for Aids will be a coastal walk from Cleethorpes to Hull travelling through all four Local Authority areas in the Humberside sub region. This is a challenging 50 miles which we will complete in 24 hours.

We are planning a media campaign with this and will be posting reports as we travel to keep everyone up to date with the walk.

What we need are more volunteers to support the campaign and sponsors to fund the walk.

If you would like to get involved in the walk call Jamie Conner on 01482 755601 or Rikki Arundel on 01482 755606 or Click Here to email

If you would like to sponsor the walk - please click on the Donate button on the right of this article.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Please support our campaign with a donation

Our volunteers will be walking 50 miles along the East Coast from Cleethorpes to Hull in 24 hours to raise money to support their travel and expences to volunteer in Africa supporting children living with HIV/AIDS.  Please donate generously.

Regular reports on the walk and the work in Africa will be posted here on this blog