March #152 : London Calling - by James Wortman

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Zen and the Virus

Sex, Tourism and HIV

Staph Strains

No More Brain Drain?

Measure Up!

Surviving HIV in Prison

A (Much) Faster Test for Hepatitis C

Web of Support

The Word: Nocebo

The Ups and Downs of On and Off

Positive Chatter

Prostate Cancer and HIV: Treatable

On Your Mark, Get Set...Taxes!

About Face

Second Time Around

Rubber World?

Redemption Song

Southern Belles

Week On, Week Off

Editor's Letter-March 2009

Letters-March 2009

London Calling

Help Us Make History. Again.

GMHC Treatment Issues-March 2009

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

Scroll down to comment on this story.

email print

March 2009

London Calling

by James Wortman

When he tested HIV positive at the age of 17, the United Kingdom’s Clint Walters was shocked not only by his diagnosis—he had only been with one partner at the time—but also by how little he knew about the virus. 

“I had received zero awareness education at school,” says Walters, now 29. “And through becoming infected, I discovered that this is a general pattern for young people in England, where sex isn’t discussed openly. I felt a huge injustice. Not just for myself, but for my peers.”

Within months of his diagnosis, Walters’s health worsened rapidly. When his CD4 count dropped below 200, he was hospitalized with cytomegalovirus (CMV) and pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), both common opportunistic infections.

While grappling with these health issues, Walters felt as though he had nowhere to turn for the kind of support he needed. At the time of his diagnosis, Walters found he could always turn to the country’s larger AIDS-based charities, such as the Terrence Higgins Trust, but no organizations were tailored for or run by younger people.

Walters left the United Kingdom for San Francisco in 1998 to research youth-based HIV/AIDS programs in one of the United States’ AIDS epicenters. His ultimate goal? To bring that style of HIV support home with him, which he did in 1999 when he founded Health Initiatives (HI), then the only such charity in the United Kingdom. Since then, London-based HI has held true to Walters’s initial vision, providing support services, prevention education, counseling and workshops to help positive youth younger than 27 better understand their diagnoses and empower their communities.

“When I was first diagnosed, the issues were, ‘How do I go back to school?’ ‘How do I start treatment?’ ‘How do I tell my peers?,’” Walters explains. “In an older setting, those issues might be completely out of sync. It’s easier for people to open up in a safe space among peers, where you can look further into those issues.”

With HI entering its 10th year—and its founder into his 30th—Walters says that both he and his organization stand at a crossroads. As POZ goes to press, Walters is working to establish a weekend HIV testing center in Central London, and he looks forward to one day passing HI on to London’s younger crop of AIDS pioneers.

“It’s the new generation that needs to run the project and move it forward,” Walters says. “Hopefully they can build upon what I’ve started and make it better. At this point in my life, I really do see a future.”          
For more information on Health Initiatives, visit

Search: Clint Walters, Health Initiatives, United Kingdom

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.