WHo We ARe
NAZ is a BAME-led sexual health agency working to address sexual health inequalities in BAME communities. We have 29 years of experience working across London to provide culturally specific interventions to BAME communities disproportionately impacted by poor sexual, reproductive and HIV outcomes. We have national reach through our events and programmes.
We believe the inequality in BAME sexual health must be scrutinised under a wider lens: factors such as housing, long term health conditions, education, employment, representation and leadership contribute to local as well as national health outcomes. Race is a significant factor in sexual health inequalities and having those most impacted driving the thinking, strategy, research and leadership as well as the operations, is key to achieving a step change in sexual health outcomes long-term, for minority communities.
We host events for key stakeholders and opinion leaders to provide insight into the lived experiences of our service users using the information we have gained from our programmatic work, to guide thinking and inform decision making.
NAZ was formed in the early 1990's by the late HIV and gay rights activist Shivananda Khan in the memory of Nazir. Nazir was a Pakistani Muslim, married with two children. He was also a closeted gay man who had AIDS. When his status became public, he was rejected by his mosque, ostracised by his community and found no social support that understood that he had more than one identity.
NAZ was set up in his memory and is one of the largest sexual health charities in London, initiated and led by ethnic minority staff. It is also one of the longest established charities of this type and focuses predominantly on sexual health improvement and HIV support services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Unfortunately, the issues that Nazir experienced still remain live today and so NAZ offers the most relevant response to this dilemma. NAZ exists in order to provide a range of sexual health services and programmes, specifically for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
The NAZ board, leadership, staff and volunteers come from the communities we want to influence; we work at the intersection of cultures, sexualities and beliefs to ensure that minority communities have the information, support and services they need to make independent, informed decisions about their sexual health.
NAZ is a registered charity (no. 1014056). The Board of Trustees is responsible for the management and strategic direction of NAZ.The Board meets at least five times a year. All Trustees are non-executive and none of them receives remuneration from NAZ. Our Declaration of Trust empowers the Trustees to take such steps as are necessary to achieve our objectives and make the appropriate arrangements for the sound management of the organisation and activities.
Dr.Hamish Mohammed is currently a Principal STI Surveillance Scientist at Public Health England. His team manages the national surveillance system for STIs in England, and he is the Chair of the Steering Group for a pilot of enhanced surveillance for behavioural and partner notification outcomes at sexual health clinics.
Rageshri is a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV at barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust and has worked in sexual health in East London for more than 5 years. She has a specialist interest in working with BAME communities and in outreach testing. She is also currently Chair of the BASHH Sexual Violence Group.
Charles is a Consultant HIV/GU Physician and Lead clinician for HIV Service at Lewisham Hospital. Extensive experience in managing a large cohort of patients drawn from an inner city, high prevalence and ethnically diverse population. Interests include clinical research, training and teaching including work with service users. As a keen advocate for access and equity of care, he has been a board member of different HIV/Sexual Health charities and voluntary organisations in the past.
Dr Vanessa Apea is a Consultant Physician in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust. She is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of London and a Fulbright Scholar, as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and founder of the Standard Health Group which works in the UK and Ghana.