Responding to change, 1995 to 2004
New HIV combination therapy became available in 1995. The treatment, which involved taking around 30 tablets per day, significantly reduced HIV-related deaths in Merseyside.
Merseyside experienced the changing demographics of HIV and the major breakthrough in HIV treatment. By the end of 2004, a third of all people living with HIV in Liverpool were women and a third were people from African communities. Merseyside communities responded to these changes and targeted support for their needs.
The charity Merseyside Black HIV/AIDS Forum was established in 1990 to support people from African and Asian communities. In 1995, Merseyside AIDS Support Group and Mersey Body Positive merged to form Sahir House which developed its support for women and men from African and Caribbean communities. Local women living with HIV set up the Positive Women’s Group in 1992.
Poster from the Northern Forum’s publicity campaign to promote HIV awareness and HIV testing in African communities, 2003
From 1995 new combination therapy for HIV became available. Although the medication regime was harsh with people often having to take 30 tablets a day - 10,950 a year - there was a significant increase in life-expectancy.