Our UK Programme

On this page is a chronological account of our work. To find specific products according to kind, please go to our Resources tab. Please also see our Live Grants tab for current activities.

Under Our UK programme

September 2021 Some of our 4MNet  Steering group members wrote a chapter about Perinatal Peer Mentoring, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and HIV in a published book (Complex Social Issues and the Perinatal Woman by Laura Abbot Department of Allied Health and Midwifery University of Hertfordshire Hatfield, UK) looking at  the psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of perinatal woman and comparative learning in complex perinatal social issues .The online book is available on  Springer and SpringerLink, the printed version will soon follow.

August 2021 In collaboration with the International Community of Women Living With HIV North America ICWNA , 4MNet held a  ‘Mama Knows Breast’ webinar  A discussion and debate on infant feeding. Following this webinar, ICWNA’s Milky Movement released a Formal Call to Action   in support of petitioning the CDC to edit the US guidelines for HIV and breast/chestfeeding. Please take a moment to review this document and sign on in support. 

July 2021 :  July 2021 :  Longret Kwardem participated in a symposium session entitled “From elimination to ensuring a paradigm shift for meeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of women living with HIV” where she shared her perspectives on Power of positive language: the evolution to ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights for women living with HIV (eSRHR) at the Virtual & 11th International AIDS Society Conference (IAS 2021)  .The perspective was also shared at a joint session of International AIDS Society(IAS) and the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) at the Virtual STI & HIV 2021 World Congress, held 14-17 July 2021 https://www.stihiv2021.org/joint-isstdr-ias-sessions/.  Session recordings will be published and accessible online to the IAS Members first from (Wednesday 18 August, 10:00 CEST) and the general public afterwards from (Thursday 16 September 10:00 CEST) via the IAS website https://www.ias2021.org/ for an unlimited period.

May 2021: Angelina made a presentation at the SHARE Research Collaborative Inaugural Virtual Symposium held on the 5th of May 2021. In the presentation she discusses the need to focus on Health Equity. You can find the presentation here. To access the full symposium please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/GoHtY0L7ItA

April 2021:  4MNet held a Virtual Exhibition Event on Friday, April 30th 2021 to conclude a 6 month National Lottery funded Emerging Futures creative Project ( hyperlink link to NL page on 4M website ). Longret made a presentation on how 4M Mentor Mothers Network evolved over the years to become a CIC ; Angelina Namiba launched the Mentor Mothers Training of Trainers Manual and Mental Health Annex and Mercy, a Mentor Mother shared her experience .To access the presentation please click here( hyperlink )  

April 2021 :  Rebeca Mbewe and Fungi Murau successfully delivered a first Virtual workshop on The Pregnancy journey when you are living with HIV, in collaboration with Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) https://www.chiva.org.uk/

April 2021: 4MNet produced a Relationship love list from its Group Session . To access click here.

March 2021: Angelina Namiba made a presentation about preferences of women living with HIV in relation to drug trial participation during pregnancy at the online WHO IMPAACT meeting of March 2021. To access the whole presentation, click here.

November 2020: As the UK enters its second national COVID-19 lockdown, we publish ‘Confinement’ – our report on the effects of the first national lockdown on pregnant women living with HIV across the UK, together with recommendations of how to minimise the challenges. To access the report, click here.

November 2020: 26th Annual Conference of the British HIV Association.  Longret Kwardem presented at the BHIVA Invited Lecture on Community Involvement in HIV Research. Power point presentation:  https://www.bhiva.org/file/5fd20509867e7/LongretKwardem.pdf  and  video: https://vimeo.com/492005964  available

October 2020: Longret Kwardem made a presentation about the importance of the meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in clinical trials. This was part of the online IAS HIV Conference on drug therapy. To access her visual presentation, click here.

September 2020: We are happy to announce the publication of our new position paper on infant feeding for women living with HIV in the UK. This sets out our perspectives on the pros and cons of formula feeding and breastfeeding by women living with HIV in this high income setting. It concludes by emphasising the importance of upholding women’s informed choice.

July 2020: Our latest webinar, no. 13, featured our Steering Group Chair, Dr Rageshri Dhairywawan of Barts Health NHS Trust. She spoke about “HIV and ethnic health inequalities with a focus on perinatal care”. She was joined by 4M Mentor Mothers for a great debate! To access the webinar on vimeo, click here. To access it on facebook live, click here.

July 2020: 4M Mentor Mother Network Co-Director Longret Kwardem was invited to speak in a symposium about differentiated models of care in the international AIDS 2020 conference. You can view and hear her presentation here.

July 2020: We are delighted to release our new Advocacy Brief, which documents our more recent activities and advocates for ensuring the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women living with HIV across their perinatal care. Our Annex provides a year by year summary of all our activities. The 3-page summary, is here. The full Advocacy Brief is here.

May 2020: Webinar no. 12 took place on International Women’s Health Day. This time our theme was HIV, pregnancy and COVID-19. Our speakers were Dr Alison Wright FRCOG of the Royal Free Hopsital London and FIGO; and Elaine Cunnea, Head of Counselling at NAZ. To access the webinar, click here.

April 2020: Webinar no. 11 took place in 2 parts, on 2nd and 9th April. This webinar is about violence against women and mental health issues in relation to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV.

It also discusses the importance of trauma-informed care and offers some suggestions about how to improve our communication and relationship skills. This is especially relevant in the current context of COVID-19 which we are all facing.

The webinar recording is available here. An accompanying list of ideas to improve our communications and relationships with those around us, including ourselves, is available here.

March 2020: An article about our research on the use of WhatsApp for our 4M MM network has been published in the AIDS Care Journal. To access an abstract to the article, please click here.

February 2020: Webinar no. 10 about women, HIV and the menopause. This took place on 6 February, with Dr Shema Tariq. This webinar recording is now available here.

For background reading about the PRIME study, on which her webinar was based, please click on the following links:

October 2019: 4M Peer Mentor Training of Trainers Manual launched

We are thrilled to announce the e-launch of our 4M Peer Mentor Mothers Training of Trainers Manual. This is the culmination of over 5 years of work, developing and delivering training materials created by, with and for women living with HIV, to support them as they go on their pregnancy journey.
Training workshops, on which the two-volume manual is based, have taken place across the UK, as well as in Kenya and Uganda. To see what others think of the manual, click here. To access Volume 1 of the manual click here. You can then access Volume 2 through the links in Volume 1.

September 2019: 4MNet Webinar 8 – funded by MAC.

‘Becoming Trauma Informed’: We are delighted to welcome Dean Hall from Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance and Kate Fraser from Women in Prison. They present information on what is trauma, what can cause it, how it can affect women and men differently, and the consequences for women living with HIV. This is so important for all organisations seeking to develop an effective and ethical response to care and support for women living with HIV around the world. To view the webinar, click here.

July 2019: 4MNetwork becomes a CIC!;  STOPAIDS presentation; and AIDS IMPACT Conference

We are delighted to announce that in the next stage of its development the 4M project has become its own Community Interest Company. Whilst it will still be fully supported by Salamander Trust until it is able to thrive alone, we all see this is an important part of the process of this work. To celebrate this, we have launched our new logo.

The announcement was made during a presentation by 4M at the STOPAIDS quarterly meeting in July 2019, where the theme was Quality of Life.  The presentation was entitled “Our SRHR in the context of Positive Parenting: Reclaiming our Quality of Life“. To access the presentation, click here.

Lastly in July, Longret Kwardem presented with Kirsten Hay of Northumbria University a poster about our joint participatory  research at the AIDS IMPACT Conference. The research is about the effectiveness of the 4M closed WhatsApp group in supporting the group members. The findings of this research were overall very positive. The poster can be viewed here.

February 2019: 4MNet Webinar 7 – funded by MIND

An introduction to mental health in pregnancy and beyond, led by clinical psychologists, Dr Angela Byrne and Dr Astrid Schepers.

To access the presentation only (and to see suggested resources and references), click here.

To access the recording of the whole webinar, click here.

To access free guided meditation sessions specifically designed for people living with HIV click here.

January 2019: 4MNet Webinar 6

This webinar is about how we can best prepare for and engage with meetings. Our speaker is Professor Jane Anderson of Homerton University Hospital, and a member of the 4M Steering Group. Please click here.

January 2019: 4MNet Webinar 5

This webinar explores how best to talk with others about HIV and other issues. Featuring 4M Programme Manager Angelina Namiba with 10 top tips; and Gill Gordon, lead author of our Stepping Stones with Children training programme, about talking with children about HIV, sex, death and many other sensitive issues in all our lives. Please click here.

November 2018: 4MNet Webinar 4

This webinar is about research: what it is, why it is important to us and how we can do it. With Professor Susan Bewley of Kings College London, who is part of the 4M Steering Group, and members of the 4M programme. Please click here.  To view a background intro presentation on why research is important, please click here.

November 2018: For a one-page overview of our project please click here.

September 2018: 4MNet Webinar 3

We have held a webinar about the quality of life of women living with HIV in the UK. This includes a presentation by Meaghan Kall of Public Health England about findings from the national Positive Voices Study, 2017; followed by a presentation by Fungai Murau of 4MNet about the human rights dimensions of quality of care. The presentations are followed by a discussion about the meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in research and action on this topic moving forward. To listen to the webinar recording, click here.

July 2018: 4MNet Webinar 2

We have held a webinar about issues facing women living with HIV in relation to immigration to the UK. To view the ppt by Dr Fionnuala Finnerty, click here.

June 2018: Launch of advocacy brief about our work in 2017

We are very happy to share an advocacy brief about the 4MNet work during 2017 and beyond. Click here to see it.

May 2018: 4MNet Webinar 1

We have held a webinar, presented by Dr Yvonne Gilleece, on current British HIV Association Guidelines.

4MNet Poster at BHIVA/BASHHIV Spring Conference gains award

We are happy to announce that our poster at this conference was singled out for oral presentation and an award. To read more and view the poster, click here.

4MNet – National Network of Women living with HIV who are Mentor Mothers 2018

Thanks to funding from MAC AIDS Fund, we are really pleased to announce that the 14 Mentor Mothers trained in the workshop described below have now formed the new 4MNet National Network of Women living with HIV who are Mentor Mothers.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018, the women are happy to share with you some of their powerful writing from the workshop last October. You can access this inspiring compilation here.

4M Training of Trainers Workshop 2017

Following on from the 8 regional workshops across the UK in 2016, we were glad to receive funding from ViiV Healthcare, to conduct a national Training of Trainers workshop. This brought together 14 of the trained ‘mentor mothers’ from across to the UK to Manchester in October 2017. To view a storify of the 4 day workshop, click here.

Angelina Namiba talked about the 4M project at the THET Conference in October 2017. To view her presentation, click here.

Estelle, one of the Mentor Mothers trained in the October 2017 workshop, presented a poster about our 2016 4M work at the European AIDS Conference Society in October 2017. To view the poster, click here.

Thank you to Positively Mindful for the beautiful new logo!

Project Background 2016

Salamander Trust is delighted that we were funded by the MAC AIDS Fund to deliver up to 8 regional training workshops (outside London) in 2016, for women living with HIV who became ‘Mentor Mothers’.

Women living with HIV were trained and skilled up as ‘Mentor Mothers’ to support other women living with HIV, around them. Each training has been delivered over 2 days.

The trained ‘Mentor Mothers’ are then able to support expectant mothers (and those planning to conceive) to feel that they are in the driving seat in relation to these 4 issues.

The project is led by a Steering Group, which includes healthcare clinicians and women living with HIV.

To read our 8-page report of the project click here. To view the ppt presentation about the programme, click here.

To view our poster which won “highly commended” at the British HIV Association Conference in April 2017, click here.

To view three summary slides about the programme, click here.

To read a presentation given by Angelina on stigma and language to the HIV Nurses Network in April 2017, click here.

To read about our 4M+ work with colleagues in Kenya and Uganda, click here.

Training/Workshop Aims

The aims are to train the participants in the following knowledge, so that they can each support an average of 5 other women living with HIV as they go through the pregnancy journey.
Participants gain an understanding and/or enhance their knowledge and skills around:

  • Preconception Planning: basics of HIV, preventing onward and vertical transmission; safer conception/what to consider if/when planning to conceive
  • Pregnancy: what happens during pregnancy; BHIVA guidelines/interventions to prevent onward transmission; how to apply these at a personal level/strategies around talking to significant others about HIV
  • Delivery: Available options and when which would be suitable/making informed choices around Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights
  • Aftercare:  For both the woman and her baby/the importance of staying engaged in health and social care services before/during and after delivery.
  • Creative Writing/Peer support: To give participants a safe and creative space in which to explore, share and reflect upon their experiences of living with HIV; as well as to explore, enhance and reinforce their role as effective ‘Mentor Mothers’, through creative writing exercises.

Training Methods:

Each training session has included at least 5 participants. The whole training is conducted in a highly interactive participatory way.

Practicalities – basics for organisations or clinics interested in taking up the training for their volunteers, patients or patient representatives.

Organisations were asked to:

  • identify a minimum of 5 (or a few more if applicable), women living with HIV –  who have either been diagnosed antenatally or have had a baby after diagnosis – who would be willing to attend the two day training.
  • provide a training room and refreshments for the trainees and local transport costs, where needed.
  • continue supporting and where relevant, refer women living with HIV, in need of support, to the trained ‘Mentor Mothers’.

Salamander Trust:

  • Has provided 2 trainers: Angelina Namiba and Nell Osborne to facilitate the 2 day training
  • Has met travel, accommodation etc. costs for the trainers

Workshop Dates. The following workshops have all now been completed:

3 February                   Hertfordshire University Midwife training (HIV and Pregnancy)

12 February                 Between the Sheets (HIV and Pregnancy headlines), Liverpool Community NHS Trust/ Sahir House

7 April                          Pregnancy Journey Body & Soul, London

13/14 April                  George House Trust, Manchester                                 4M 2day

25/26 April                  Faith in People, Leicester                                                4M 2 day

29 April                        Hertfordshire University 2nd Year Midwifery students (HIV and Pregnancy)

24 May                         THT South & Home Counties. HIV and pregnancy workshop for midwives, student midwives & antenatal nurses

9/10 June                    Bournemouth Body Positive                                          4M 2 day

13/14 June                  Cardiff                                                                                4M 2 day

[20/21 June                 AB+ Birmingham                                                             4M 2 day Sadly cancelled owing to AB+ closure]

7/8 July                        Sussex Beacon                                                                 4M 2 day

16/17 August              BHA Leeds Skyline                                                          4M 2 day

25/26 August              Hwupenyu Health & Wellbeing Project, Glasgow     4M 2 Day

14/15 September      Faith in People, Leicester                                               4M 2 Day

17/18 October            Positive East, Outer London                                         4M 2 Day

Related files – to see a presentation about:

  • telling your child you have HIV, click here
  • the power of peer support through this project, click here
  • HIV and pregnancy: the headlines, click here
  • language and stigma, click here
  • Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in Pregnancy, click here

For more information about the project, please contact:
Angelina Namiba – anamiba15 @ gmail dot com
Alice Welbourn – alice @ salamandertrust dot net

Thanks to Aditi Sharma and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition for the use of this great name!


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