WHO WE ARE
NAZ is a sexual health charity working to address sexual health inequalities in Black, Brown and Global Majority communities. We have 29 years of experience working across London to provide culturally specific interventions to communities disproportionately impacted by poor sexual, reproductive and HIV outcomes. We have a national reach through our events and programmes.
We believe the inequality in sexual health for minoritised ethnic communities 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 1990s by the late HIV and gay rights activist Shivananda Khan in 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, Brown and Global Majority communities.
Unfortunately, the issues that Nazir experienced still remain alive 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, Brown and Global Majority 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.
Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan 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 minoritised ethnic communities and in outreach testing. She is also currently Chair of the BASHH Sexual Violence Group.
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.
Danielle Solomon is a Specialist Registrar in Public Health and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at the Institute for Global Health, University College London (UCL). Her current research focuses on unmet need within sexual and reproductive health. Danielle previously practiced as a sexual health & HIV physician at the Mortimer Market Centre in central London.
Jaime Vera is a Professor in HIV Medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. He obtained his medical degree from the Columbian School of Medicine followed by training in general internal medicine in London. In 2008, he was granted a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Fellowship in HIV Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital.