A pioneering scheme which helps long-term unemployed people with HIV return to work is coming to the Sussex coast for the first time.

The Terrence Higgins Trust is extending its annual back to work scheme placement to the Brighton and Hove area after securing lottery funding.

The charity says about 25% of people living with HIV are unemployed.

Thanks to modern drug treatments, many can return to work, but – if they have had a long period of ill health – they may lack confidence, or feel they no longer have the skills or stamina required to find a job in an increasingly competitive market.

The charity’s scheme, which is called Work Positive, will undertake a six-month work placement at its Brighton centre.

They will also be giving an intensive programme of training, coaching and mentoring. The aim is to boost the confidence of individuals and ensure that they are work-ready.

Work Positive co-ordinator, Ruth Burns, said: “Having regular employment gives a sense of purpose which can transform people’s lives, particularly if they’ve been feeling either isolated or depressed.

“We would encourage anyone living with HIV in Brighton and Hove who is ready to get back on the career ladder to get in touch.”

Work Positive is open to anyone living with HIV who has been unemployed for two years or more or is receiving benefits.

The deadline for applications to be submitted is this Friday.

For further information, and details of how to apply, simply visit www.tht.org.uk/workpositive.