My Community Forum - Community guidelines and terms and conditions

You must be living with HIV to join My Community Forum.

By creating a My Community Forum account, you are providing your consent for Terrence Higgins Trust to process your personal information. Your information will be processed in order for us to create and administer your forum account. For more information on how Terrence Higgins Trust process personal information, please read our privacy policy and general website terms and conditions.

If you are upset, concerned or need to highlight any issue with any posting, please notify us by clicking the \'Report Abuse\' button next to that posting.

Etiquette: Please show respect for others at all times and remember that written communication is very different from spoken conversation. Something that was written in a light-hearted manner can easily be misunderstood or taken the wrong way and cause offence. Where possible, give the other person the benefit of the doubt rather than getting angry and making accusations. Also, writing in CAPITALS is known as shouting, which can cause offence (as well as being difficult to read).

Abusive behaviour: Any comments made with the intent to threaten, harm or hurt another person is unacceptable in any form and posts or comments that are deemed as such will be deleted and a warning given. Any member who repeats negative behaviour and ignores warnings will be prevented from using our services in line with our enforcement policy (see below)

Prejudicial remarks: Using prejudicial statements, comments or remarks denigrating racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age or religion, is strictly prohibited.

Personal information: While we are supportive of people being open about their HIV status, it is entirely up to you whether you disclose any personal information on this site or to people that you interact with here. Doing so is at your own risk. If you wish to maintain personal confidentiality, do not post or share your real name or contact details. We treat the data stored in this system as sensitive and confidential. Access to the database is limited to a small number of Terrence Higgins Trust staff and external technical consultants (for example, our web hosting company where this is required to deliver and maintain the service).

Libel: You may not post any content which is illegal, libellous or defamatory, or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any person other than yourself without the consent of that person. This includes revealing someone else's HIV status.

Keep it clean: Use of profanity/cursing/pornographic references in any language is not permitted. While frank sexual discussion is acceptable in an appropriate context, please be sensitive to others when posting – graphic descriptive sexual conversation is prohibited. This guideline also applies to pictures, user names, and user titles.

Selling items and soliciting members: Offering items or services for sale is not allowed. Sales and/or donation solicitations of members by way of email or message board posts are also not allowed.

Prescription items: It is illegal to transfer prescription items such as medication to someone other than the person for whom the prescription was written. Members are not allowed to offer to give or sell prescription medicines to others via this site.

Treatment options (or 'I Have a Cure for HIV!'): Terrence Higgins Trust neither advocates nor disallows any particular treatment method or medication. While people are entitled to discuss treatments, they feel have helped them personally, if a post regarding any treatment option is misleading, directive, solicitous, or hurtful to others, it will be removed, and the member will be contacted and warned.

Crisis support: My Community Forum is a place to share queries, worries and concerns, but we are not able to provide crisis support. If in emotional crisis, you can contact the NHS Urgent Mental Health helpline (England only). You can also visit your local Accident and Emergency hospital department or contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] (24 hours).

Message board discussion topics: Our membership is broad and diverse. Please consider this when you post a message on our boards. We reserve the right to redirect, close or remove any inappropriate, aggressive or potentially harmful discussion that detracts from our mission and purpose. If you disagree with our action, you have the right to log a complaint with Terrence Higgins Trust through our formal complaints process. This may include religion, politics or any discussion promoting unlawful activities, such as how to obtain drugs or other substances illegally. While it may sometimes be acceptable to discuss illegal activity (safer use of recreational drugs, for example), all posts are at your own risk if they identify criminal or otherwise unlawful behaviour. If you are unsure about whether a subject is appropriate for discussion, please email us at [email protected].

Staff access: In order for Terrence Higgins Trust to offer services, resources, support and information to forum users, relevant charity staff are permitted to become forum members, contribute to discussions, and post updates. These members may or may not be living with HIV. However, they will be clearly identified as Terrence Higgins Trust staff, and their job role/title will be clearly identified. Terrence Higgins Trust staff wishing to become members will need to gain prior approval from the My Community Forum Coordinator. Any staff accessing the forum will be bound by the charity's confidentiality and privacy policies.

Enforcement: In the first instance of a breach of these rules, users may be banned from using the site for 14 days. In the second instance, the ban is 30 days. A third breach within the same 90-day period will result in an outright and final ban from using the site and suspension of your account. If you think we made a mistake or disagree with our action, you have the right to log a complaint with Terrence Higgins Trust through our formal complaints process. Please contact Jim Fielder, Terrence Higgins Trust's Living Well Lead, for a first stage imformal complaint.

By indicating that you agree below, you are accepting the above guidelines and the terms and conditions for using this platform, and you confirm that you are living with HIV and entitled to access this forum. You also consent to Terrence Higgins Trust processing your personal information in order to create and administer your My Community Forum account.