Health & Social Care
SHAKA Services aims to respond holistically to a broad range of social care and support needs of African, Asian and African-Caribbean families living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in a manner that takes into account social exclusion affecting our client group.
SHAKA Services ensures that African, Asian and African-Caribbean families living with or affected by HIV/AIDS receive their statutory entitlements, and have access to information to the range of benefits available, to maximise their ability to live well with HIV.
SHAKA Services support these families and assists them to obtain appropriate advice on welfare rights, housing, community care, immigration, emotional support, or any other issue that may impact on their ability to live well with HIV/IDS.
SHAKA SERVICES promotes dignity and respect among and on behalf of service users. SHAKA Services provides counselling and emotional support from an African centred perspective to individuals and groups within the Black community.
SHAKA Services promotes better sexual health awareness through training, education and advice.
SHAKA Services aims to provide a Seamless Primary Sexual Health Prevention services to all sections of the general population.
SHAKA Services particularly targets the Black Minority ethnic and Refugee community as statistics show that this community has the highest prevalence of newly diagnosed heterosexuals infected with the HIV virus. We aim to achieve this by the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health prevention services.
SHAKA Services general role is to advance the education of the public in all aspects of HIV/AIDS and STI’s and their prevention through:
Sexual Health Workshops/Training; Peer education training programme for young people; Community peer education and training; Outreach services, advisory literature and condom distribution; Programmes on drugs and risky sexual practices; Health advice, secondary infection prevention and peer education for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Emotional support and counselling
Learning that you are HIV+ is very difficult for most people to cope with. Within the African and Caribbean Communities there continues to be a great deal of prejudice borne of fear about HIV/AIDS. There is a fear that you will be disowned by friends and family. There is the fear that having the virus is a death sentence. For many finding out is like a bolt from the blue as they had no idea why they were feeling so unwell.
Numerous myths and stories circulate about how you get HIV and what might cure it. Our information in the Sexual Health section explains about this. However for most people finding out that you have the virus is very frightening and it is a time.when you want to talk but don’t dare. This is where we can help. We provide confidential counselling and emotional support. that is sensitive to the cultural issues within the African and Caribbean Communities. We recognise that religion and spirituality play a major part in the lives of these communities; in the way they think; in the way they try to make sense of what has happened. Our emotional support provides a safe place to talk with people who have a cultural understanding for example of the role of story telling in order to help someone understand your feelings, fears and desires.
Our counselling is also available for those who are thinking of getting tested but need help in preparing for both the test and dealing with the results.
HIV affects not only the individual sufferer but also their family, friends, husbands, wives, partners…… We offer our services to people who are ‘affected’ by HIV meaning where they are not the ones with the virus but instead it is a loved one or family member. Often with intimate friends the fear that you too might be infected can almost paralyse you. Preventing you from going for early testing. We say get angry, get sad, share your confusion but most importantly TALK ABOUT IT.
If you are worried about HIV/AIDS we are willing to listen and help you find the solution that is right for you. Why not give us a call on 020 7735 6744 our service is confidential and free.
Secondary Prevention and Treatment
Anti HIV treatment
The Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) significantly changes the course of HIV from a terminal disease to chronic illness. Where adherence is maintained, HAART greatly reduces the risk of opportunistic infections, immensely extend survival of people living with HIV and facilitates extraordinary recoveries in those at advanced stages of the HIV disease.
However, in order to realise the life extending benefits from HAART, the person living with HIV is required to consistently take the medications with minimal provisions for slip ups. Hence adherence is the cornerstone of successful treatment in the care and management of people living with HIV.
When treatment starts
If you have just been diagnosed HIV positive, you may not necessarily start anti-HIV treatment straightaway. Generally, the guidelines from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) advices that people start treatment when your CD4 count is equal to, or less than, 350 cells per ml or if you have symptoms of illness related to HIV. After discussing these factors you, as the patient, should make the final decision to start anti-HIV therapy.
STI’s or Sexually Transmitted Infections
STI’s or Sexually Transmitted Infections is a subject that most people get embarrassed talking about. However it is very important that sexually active people – young and old alike – should know what they are, how they can be transmitted and how they can be treated.
There are many STI’s click here to see some of the most common:-Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Genital Herpes, HIV, Scabies, Public Lice, Hepatitis B, Syphillis, AIDS, BV Trichomoniasis,
Before you look at these why not see how much you know about STI’s by doing our quiz. Follow the link to our quizzes page or just click here. The answers are given on a separate page.