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The rapidly changing picture has meant that support services have had to evolve, to keep pace with the needs of those living with the virus. City based charity Waverley Care was set up in 1989, in response to a disproportionately high number of cases that led to Edinburgh being dubbed "the Aids capital of Europe". Then, it largely provided end of life care to dying patients. Today, 25 years and one day since the first meeting of Waverley Care, it responds to those with HIV in an altogether different way. The evolution is personified at Waverley Care Milestone, in the south of the city, which opened its doors Air Force Red Shoes in 1991. Then, it was Scotland's first purpose built Aids hospice, a development so significant that it drew a visit from Princess Diana shortly after opening. Now, though, it operates as a residential outreach and support centre, also helping those with Hepatitis C. Following a near 500,000 refurbishment, it is expanding services and instead of caring for the dying, is tailored towards helping people achieve what would have been unthinkable a few short decadesearlier. Anne, who visits the centre weekly for a support group and also stays at the ten bed unit for respite care, is clear that Waverley Care has transformed her life following the dark days in the aftermath of her diagnosis, when she struggled to eat for weeks after coming down with yet another bout of chronic pneumonia.
Anne, who takes daily medication, says. "But you can't get away from HIV. There are constant reminders. I do get depressed now, before I was fine, an outgoing person. Now most days I just stay in the house. "Now 49, Anne will soon become one of more than 1000 people in Scotland aged 50 or above with the infection. In 2003, just one in eight people living with the virus had reached their 50th birthday. By 2012, it was one in four and the numbers are rising all the time. The speed of the progress in treatment for HIV, which means that with early diagnosis very few people will go on to develop Aids, is an incredible success story. But it has presented new challenges as people survive for decades with the condition.
'that's what happened to me'. People understand you because they're living with the same thing. "The peer support is invaluable, particularly as broad Red Nike Air Force
attitudes across society have not progressed at nearly the same rate as treatment of HIV. Many are still ignorant when it comes to the virus, with a Waverley Care survey recently revealing that 11 per cent wrongly believe it can be passed on through kissing, while more than one in six think it can be transmitted by spitting. While fortunately it is not something Anne says she had experienced, people known to have HIV can also face discrimination and alienation. "At first people couldn't believe it and said if anybody didn't Black Air Force 1
But it has ha.
deserve it, it was me.
"I come down to Milestone every Thursday for the women's group," she says. "You just get a laugh. If I stay for respite care, I always leave with a smile on my face. "You can ask something and someone will say Air Force One Nike Blue
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