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!