Interview: Sahir House

Today we chat to Serena Cavanagh on behalf of Sahir House.

Sahir House has been offering HIV support, prevention, information & training across Merseyside since 1985. Increasing HIV & sexual health knowledge, reducing stigma & campaigning for the rights for those living with HIV & related intersectionality’s (gender, sexuality, asylum status).

Hi Sahir House, we loved your guest show with us last week! Can you please tell us more about the amazing work you do here in Merseyside?

For over 35 years, Sahir House has been providing safe and confidential support in Merseyside for people living with HIV and those marginalised and vulnerable because of their related intersectionality’s such as refugee / asylum status, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

How have you been raising awareness for HIV testing week so far?

We have worked alongside many of our partners to plan and run the campaign on Merseyside and to make the best use of all our resources to create as many opportunities as we could for members of the public to access HIV testing. Working together has enabled us to reach more people to highlight why we should all know our HIV status.

As members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, what could we be doing more of to help reduce the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDs?

Supporting campaigns like National HIV Testing Week and World AIDS Day is really supportive as it shows all communities that you are taking a proactive approach to raising awareness. Sometimes just having a conversation with someone about HIV can start to dispell the myths that still surround this virus. You can also access the FREE bitesize awareness sessions that Sahir House deliver, check the training page for more information here.

Why do you think it’s important to run events such as the UK AIDs Memorial Quilt Exhibition at 24 Kitchen Street and It’s A Sin club night at District?

The quilts are a reminder of all those lives that were taken too early, to a virus that was drenched in shame and stigma and fear. Events such as these start conversations about how it was to be diagnosed with HIV in the 80’s and 90’s and it educates people about how easy it is today to access HIV testing. HIV today is a lifelong health condition, people live well with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass it on!!

For more information about U=U read here.

When you’re in need of a pick-me-up, who are your go-to music artists to listen to?

Blimey, not sure you’d want to list my personal choices however the team at Sahir House did list playlist that links to all of our work:

Erasure – Blue Savanah song – Andy Bell (HIV +ve)
It’s a sin – pet shop boys
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now – (HIV +ve)
Salt & Pepper – lets talk about sex!
Frankie goes to Hollywood – relax – Holly Johnson (HIV +ve)
Bronski Beat – small town boy
Madness – House of fun – condoms
Janet Jackson – Together Again – (loss of HIV +ve friend)
Kylie Minogue – All the lovers – sex degrees of separation
Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – (safe sex)
Prince – Sign of the Times

What was the last record you bought?

Arrrrrr… I really can’t remember…. I do have a turntable at home so occasionally I play records. The last record I played at home….. Rock Steady Crew – Hey You.

For anyone seeking help, how could they access your services?

  1. Visit our website

2. Follow us on our socials: Instagram, twitter, facebook and linkedin – Sahir House.

3. Or just give us a call 0151 237 3989.