PEGS (Positive Empathy Group Somerset) have been meeting monthly for a number of years in Taunton. People mainly attend PEGS from the Yeovil, Glastonbury and Taunton areas.

Meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month, see below:

December 19th 2015 January 16th 2016 February 20th 2016
March 19th 2016 April 16th 2016 May 21st 2016

We are an expanding group, new faces appearing at each one of the last four get-togethers, and as well as sharing the highs and lows of living with the virus, we have had various quests with professional involvement in HIV come to speak with us. In recent months these have included a G.P, two different people from the National AIDS Trust in London and a complementary therapist. More guests are planned but not for each month; the main emphasis being on mutual support in safe surroundings, with food!

Contact Anne at [email protected] if you would like more information.

Read what one of our attendees said about how the group has helped with coping and living with HIV:

“When I first found out I was positive, I felt an almost overwhelming need to connect with other people who were living with the virus, and so I logged on to google and typed in “HIV in Somerset.” Eddystone appeared on my screen and I quickly wrote an email explaining my situation.

After a pleasant & secure meeting in a coffee shop in my home town I met Annie, who is extremely friendly and knowledgable and, I was very pleased & relieved to find, presented opportunities to meet others in my situation, and many facilities to offer me and my HIV negative husband as well.

I joined the local peer support meeting in Taunton, went to some drop in meets in Street, at which both of us were readily welcomed and accepted as part of this positive community within our community.

Listening to other peoples experiences, many of whom had been diagnosed for a much longer time than I, and also chatting with fellow members who were recently diagnosed as I was, became extraordinarily helpful to me. Both in terms of getting to grips with my own diagnosis emotionally, and as a huge support for my partner as well. What was most inspiring we found was the message of hope for our future, and how important having a support network of people who are travelling along the same path as we were actually was to us.

I was offered therapies that have proved invaluable to me as the treatment of my virus has progressed, managing stress through massage and acupuncture. These have helped enormously, alleviating new symptoms that I have experienced.

Without taking that first step, and receiving the help and guidance of the trust, I believe I would have been unable to so quickly come to terms with my new status, and I am very thankful and pleased that I did reach out, and was so warmly received and accepted. Not feeling & being alone on this daunting journey has proved to be a great relief and a huge source of comfort to me, to both of us.”