Monthly Archives: November 2016

Finding Our T-Spot



Pushing the Frontiers of Research on Trans Lives, HIV and Holistic Wellbeing

An outline of the event hosted by cliniQ and SWIFT in November, I am incredibly grateful to have the chance to work with such vibrancy and emerging ideas. However tough things can seem the list of attendees is testament to the people doing outstanding work to create a fairer more equal society, that work goes on despite politicians. We are creating an artwork which celebrates this meeting as it’s important that we document our own history’s and gains. A huge thank you to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and SWIFT for co funding this event with the support of Gilead’

Hosted by  – cliniQ and SWIFT

Funded by  – SWIFT and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation with support from Gilead

Organised by  – Juno Roche

Facilitator –  Razia Aziz,  The Equality Academy


A roundtable event hosted by cliniQ and SWIFT which aims to address the lack of meaningful research on HIV and the Trans community from the perspective of specifically addressing sexual wellbeing and sexual healthcare.

Proposed areas of discussion and inquiry include:

  • What research exists and what research is needed on HIV prevalence among Trans people in the UK?
  • How can we ensure that the Trans community are involved meaningfully at all stages of any research? What do we need to know about the community to ensure that this happens? How can cliniQ assist here?
  • What does ‘safer sex practice’ in the context of Trans people’s bodies and lives mean? How can we empower trans people to understand ‘risk’ in relation to their own bodies, sexuality and sex lives?
  • How could any future research be used to address holistic sexual healthcare of Trans people at a policy level?


  • To make a key contribution to improving the holistic sexual healthcare of Trans people within the UK
  • To start to create a structural data plan which leads to creating a more solid understanding of the Trans community and HIV


  • To create a visual artistic representation of the roundtable
  • To establish a list and a shared resource of and for those working in this area
  • To generate a set of meaningful research questions
  • To form a working group which can take forward ideas about how to address these questions


Arrival: Registration & refreshments

 Introductions & Scene Setting: Razia Aziz

 About SWIFT: Yvonne Gilleece

 Talking of Sex, Gender, Sexuality and HIV: a participatory exercise using quick fire questions as ice-breaker and thought provocation

 cliniQ: Presentation 1 ‘The History of the Service’

 Guide Questions & Syndicate groups: what does this history tell us about the barriers to holistic health care faced by Trans communities, and the gaps in data about that community?

 Lunch & Preview Showing of cliniQ Movie 

 Plenary: Drawing out themes from syndicate groups in order to understand the barriers and point to research needs.

 Kate Nambiar: Presentation 2 ‘What are the pressing needs in terms of data?’

 Shema Tariq: Presentation 3 ‘Developing a research question’


 World Café: key themes from the day

 Plenary: emergent research questions & what next

List of Attendees

  1. Aedan Wolton –  cliniQ
  2. Alana Avery – All About Trans (On Road Media)
  3. Alison Roger – SWIFT
  4. Alistair Hudson – FPA
  5. Cheryl Gower  – NAT
  6. Christos Daramilas – DeMontford University
  7. Deborah Gold – NAT
  8. Dr Vanessa Crawford – Consultant Psychiatrist CX GIC
  9. Ellis Morgan – cliniQ
  10. Gill Perkins – CEO Oasis HIV Charity
  11. Juno Roche – Patron cliniQ (Organiser)
  12. Kevin Fenton – PHE
  13. Lee Bonsai-Gale – Trans Activist
  14. Longret Kwardem – SWIFT
  15. Mags Portman – NHS
  16. Margaret Johnson – SWIFT
  17. Marta Boffito – Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  18. Matthew Hibbert – PHE
  19. Michelle Ross – cliniQ
  20. Mitzy Gafos – PROUD Study
  21. Natika H Halil – CEO FPA
  22. Razia Aziz –  the Equality Academy (Facilitator)
  23. Rodger Pebody – NAM
  24. Rusi Jaspal, Prof – DeMonfort University
  25. Sebastian Cordoba -DeMontford University
  26. Serge Nicholson – cliniQ
  27. Sheena McCormack – PROUD Study
  28. Shema Tariq, Dr – SWIFT
  29. Simon Collins – ibase
  30. Sophie Strachan – Sophia Forum
  31. Steph Keeble – BLGBT.ORG
  32. Tara Suchak – cliniQ
  33. Valerie Delpech – Head of PHE  Surveillance  Centre HIV/Sexual Health
  34. Yvonne Gilleece -SWIFT
  35. Zahra Jamal – NAZ
  36. Martha Dunkley – cliniQ
  37. Ana Milinkovic – UCL
  38. Paula Evenden
  39. Margot Uden
  40. Kate Nambiar 




Sophia Forum Press Release

Court of Appeal rules that NHS England can legally fund PrEP: women must now have access

The Sophia Forum greatly welcomes the Court of Appeal’s ruling that NHS England can fund the implementation of PrEP, an effective HIV prevention tool that is not currently available through the NHS in England. It has though taken another three months of legal action to get to this point where the NHS will still take more time to make its decision on PrEP. The High Court and Court of Appeal rulings merely sets the legal precedent that NHS England does have the legal ability to fund PrEP to make it available to those who need it. During this wasted time in legal action many people who are in need of effective HIV prevention tools have been needlessly put at risk.

Sophia Forum is the only organisation in the UK that focuses solely on women living with and vulnerable to acquiring HIV. We have campaigned extensively to make PrEP available to all who need it in the UK, including women. Our statement calling for PrEP implementation to include women secured support from national and international organisations and networks:

The most recent data on HIV in the UK, published by Public Health England, showed 1540 women were diagnosed with HIV in 2014, 25% of all new diagnoses. An estimated 32,700 women were living with HIV in the UK in 2014, about 32% of the total.

PrEP has been shown to reduce HIV infections in people who are at risk of acquiring HIV and who take the responsible decision to protect themselves. It is a not a replacement for any other preventative measure but works alongside them to reduce infection rates and provide cost effective prevention.

NHS England has a duty of care to provide, where possible, preventative treatments that are proven to be effective. The Sophia Forum can see no reason why PrEP would not became part of the NHS remit and be provided to those in need, who are at risk.

Juno Roche, Sophia Forum Trustee and campaigner, said:

We know there are many women at risk from HIV for whom using a condom is just not enough, PrEP could allow these women a new layer of protection that they just don’t currently have. At present many of these women still do not know about PrEP – we need to get this out there so that we can help to empower women.

We urge NHS England to come to the right decision quickly.

The Sophia Forum Trustees.     @SophiaForum

What is PrEP?

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) involves HIV negative people taking an antiretroviral drug to avoid getting HIV. Multiple studies around the world have shown PrEP to be highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.

About Sophia Forum

Sophia Forum promotes and advocates for the rights, health, welfare and dignity of women living with HIV through research, raising awareness and influencing policy. We do this through:

  • Developing and delivering our advocacy programme
  • Bringing together information and research on the issues affecting women living with HIV
  • Creating partnerships with organisations and individuals delivering services
  • Building relationships with policy makers

We make sure that women living with HIV are meaningfully involved in all our work.


Some thoughts


What to say, what to write. Emotional platitudes are swamping the internet and end up being one amorphous slug of pointlessness. We have to reflect and respond with more than fearful tears, that won’t cut it in this new world where a man who wants to grab pussy is now sitting in a room deemed to be the most powerful on the planet. Where a man rich beyond all comprehension (often riches made from the corrupt abuses of tax systems and business loopholes)  is seen as somehow different, as anti-establishment. It makes no logical sense so I understand the emotional outpouring but we have to scrutinise and understand this properly to combat it in some strategic way that builds structure. We also have to openly own the racism that inhabits so many silent places.

Where a man rich beyond all comprehension (often riches made from the corrupt abuses of tax systems and business loopholes)  is seen as somehow different, as anti-establishment.

I think those people (mainly on the left)who are currently laying this at the feet of Hillary are missing the point. This is a movement away from the left and the right. Bernie Sanders, like Corbyn here represents a well trodden path that isn’t likely to engage widely anymore than Hillary did or in fact the centre right did. This is a reactive, tele-visual age where increasingly bizarre statements – build walls, leave behind free trade, ship them out, ship them in, gain momentum with a people who haven’t effectively changed their view for the past fifty years.

For as long as I can remember Britain has been a racist country built upon lies and fears torn from  a diminishing  empire in which most people had an utterly shit time at the expense of a few.

Hearing celebrating Americans talk of going back to the good ol’days must fill so many with horror. Anyone not white for example for whom the good ol’days meant openly segregated systems and now mean prisons full of young black men. The good ol’days where LGBT people were beaten and locked up, where women had no bodily autonomy and where we were all expected to know our place and not fucking move. The good ol’days – Trump, Farage, Johnson, I despise your good ol’days.

Farage has talked about taking back control of our borders after our empire decimated whole swaths of this planet by violently desecrating and destroying borders. We invented migration.

Trump talks about building a wall to keep them Mexicans out whilst American contractors seek to drill on land sacred to the first peoples there, people treated with scorn by the people of America, the people gloating inside their virtual wall.

The good ol’days – Trump, Farage, Johnson, I despise your good ol’days.

Trump and Brexit succeeded because if you scratch the surface many people blame the problems of our countries on people who are not white. When people talk about the NHS or the schools or the state of the street just listen for longer than a couple of sentences when the polite talk falls away and the issue of colour, of otherness will rise up. They are having to print leaflets in 20 different languages, they say, it’s changed around here, they say, you never hear an English voice in the waiting room, they say. I remember signs up in pubs banning whole groups of people – NO IRISH, NO BLACKS, NO GYPSIES. But I also know that if we kid ourselves that attitudes changed when the signs came down we are not facing up to reality. People were forced into taking down signs and changing attitudes they didn’t give those up willingly.

Hillary didn’t lose because she was corrupt, Trump won because his racism spoke to a great big chunk of white America – educated and non educated, working  and middle class, rich and poor who were far happier when their neighbourhood was white and segregated.

Hillary didn’t lose because she represented the 1%, not when Trump is a billionaire several times over, no Hillary lost because she isn’t a racist.

It’s too easy for left commentators to blame her and try to corrupt-shame her when this is a victory for racism and nationalism which always has its roots in racism and xenophobia.

The left stand to utterly lose out in this new world order if they don’t realise that the old ways are over for them as well as the traditional right. We need to come together as the groups that are marginalised rather than as a political faction of the well meaning left, it won’t work now. Somehow there are many people feeling dispossessed by the events of this year and we need to build alliances that span beyond politics, we are often presented as ‘single issue’ groups but if you examine even briefly our single issues they all add up to wanting equality. This is a fight for that equality, it isn’t about right or left anymore.

Let’s just be clear the first black president who set an utter watermark for decent politics is to leave the office for a man who flaunts his power and who talks about building walls, who talks about grabbing pussy. How devastating.