4M: My Health, My Choice, My Child, My Life: perinatal peer mentoring project with women living with HIV

Events Featured Training

November 2018: For a one-page overview of our project please click here.

September 2018: 4MNet Webinar 3

We have held a webinar about the quality of life of women living with HIV in the UK. This includes a presentation by Meaghan Kall of Public Health England about findings from the national Positive Voices Study, 2017; followed by a presentation by Fungai Murau of 4MNet about the human rights dimensions of quality of care. The presentations are followed by a discussion about the meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in research and action on this topic moving forward. To listen to the webinar recording, click here.

July 2018: 4MNet Webinar 2

We have held a webinar about issues facing women living with HIV in relation to immigration to the UK. To view the ppt by Dr Fionnuala Finnerty, click here.

June 2018: Launch of advocacy brief about our work in 2017

We are very happy to share an advocacy brief about the 4MNet work during 2017 and beyond. Click here to see it.

May 2018: 4MNet Webinar 1

We have held a webinar, presented by Dr Yvonne Gilleece, on current British HIV Association Guidelines.

4MNet Poster at BHIVA/BASHHIV Spring Conference gains award

We are happy to announce that our poster at this conference was singled out for oral presentation and an award. To read more and view the poster, click here.

4MNet – National Network of Women living with HIV who are Mentor Mothers 2018

Thanks to funding from MAC AIDS Fund, we are really pleased to announce that the 14 Mentor Mothers trained in the workshop described below have now formed the new 4MNet National Network of Women living with HIV who are Mentor Mothers.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018, the women are happy to share with you some of their powerful writing from the workshop last October. You can access this inspiring compilation here.

4M Training of Trainers Workshop 2017

Following on from the 8 regional workshops across the UK in 2016, we were glad to receive funding from ViiV Healthcare, to conduct a national Training of Trainers workshop. This brought together 14 of the trained ‘mentor mothers’ from across to the UK to Manchester in October 2017. To view a storify of the 4 day workshop, click here.

Angelina Namiba talked about the 4M project at the THET Conference in October 2017. To view her presentation, click here.

Estelle, one of the Mentor Mothers trained in the October 2017 workshop, presented a poster about our 2016 4M work at the European AIDS Conference Society in October 2017. To view the poster, click here.

Thank you to Positively Mindful for the beautiful new logo!

Project Background 2016

Salamander Trust is delighted that we were funded by the MAC AIDS Fund to deliver up to 8 regional training workshops (outside London) in 2016, for women living with HIV who became ‘Mentor Mothers’.

Women living with HIV were trained and skilled up as ‘Mentor Mothers’ to support other women living with HIV, around them. Each training has been delivered over 2 days.

The trained ‘Mentor Mothers’ are then able to support expectant mothers (and those planning to conceive) to feel that they are in the driving seat in relation to these 4 issues.

The project is led by a Steering Group, which includes healthcare clinicians and women living with HIV.

To read our 8-page report of the project click here. To view the ppt presentation about the programme, click here.

To view our poster which won “highly commended” at the British HIV Association Conference in April 2017, click here.

To view three summary slides about the programme, click here.

To read a presentation given by Angelina on stigma and language to the HIV Nurses Network in April 2017, click here.

To read about our 4M+ work with colleagues in Kenya and Uganda, click here.

Training/Workshop Aims

The aims are to train the participants in the following knowledge, so that they can each support an average of 5 other women living with HIV as they go through the pregnancy journey.
Participants gain an understanding and/or enhance their knowledge and skills around:

  • Preconception Planning: basics of HIV, preventing onward and vertical transmission; safer conception/what to consider if/when planning to conceive
  • Pregnancy: what happens during pregnancy; BHIVA guidelines/interventions to prevent onward transmission; how to apply these at a personal level/strategies around talking to significant others about HIV
  • Delivery: Available options and when which would be suitable/making informed choices around Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights
  • Aftercare:  For both the woman and her baby/the importance of staying engaged in health and social care services before/during and after delivery.
  • Creative Writing/Peer support: To give participants a safe and creative space in which to explore, share and reflect upon their experiences of living with HIV; as well as to explore, enhance and reinforce their role as effective ‘Mentor Mothers’, through creative writing exercises.


Training Methods:

Each training session has included at least 5 participants. The whole training is conducted in a highly interactive participatory way.

Practicalities – basics for organisations or clinics interested in taking up the training for their volunteers, patients or patient representatives.

Organisations were asked to:

  • identify a minimum of 5 (or a few more if applicable), women living with HIV –  who have either been diagnosed antenatally or have had a baby after diagnosis – who would be willing to attend the two day training.
  • provide a training room and refreshments for the trainees and local transport costs, where needed.
  • continue supporting and where relevant, refer women living with HIV, in need of support, to the trained ‘Mentor Mothers’.


Salamander Trust:

  • Has provided 2 trainers: Angelina Namiba and Nell Osborne to facilitate the 2 day training
  • Has met travel, accommodation etc. costs for the trainers


Workshop Dates. The following workshops have all now been completed:

3 February                   Hertfordshire University Midwife training (HIV and Pregnancy)

12 February                 Between the Sheets (HIV and Pregnancy headlines), Liverpool Community NHS Trust/ Sahir House

7 April                          Pregnancy Journey Body & Soul, London

13/14 April                  George House Trust, Manchester                                 4M 2day

25/26 April                  Faith in People, Leicester                                                4M 2 day

29 April                        Hertfordshire University 2nd Year Midwifery students (HIV and Pregnancy)

24 May                         THT South & Home Counties. HIV and pregnancy workshop for midwives, student midwives & antenatal nurses

9/10 June                    Bournemouth Body Positive                                          4M 2 day

13/14 June                  Cardiff                                                                                4M 2 day

[20/21 June                 AB+ Birmingham                                                             4M 2 day Sadly cancelled owing to AB+ closure]

7/8 July                        Sussex Beacon                                                                 4M 2 day

16/17 August              BHA Leeds Skyline                                                          4M 2 day

25/26 August              Hwupenyu Health & Wellbeing Project, Glasgow     4M 2 Day

14/15 September      Faith in People, Leicester                                               4M 2 Day

17/18 October            Positive East, Outer London                                         4M 2 Day


Related files – to see a presentation about:

  • telling your child you have HIV, click here
  • the power of peer support through this project, click here
  • HIV and pregnancy: the headlines, click here
  • language and stigma, click here
  • Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in Pregnancy, click here


For more information about the project, please contact:
Angelina Namiba – anamiba15 @ gmail dot com
Alice Welbourn – alice @ salamandertrust dot net

* Thanks to Aditi Sharma and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition of the use of this great name!