#WADirl launched by Irish Health Minister

The Irish Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD last week launched the first ever five-day national World AIDS Day campaign in Ireland. This campaign is developed by NGOs and statutory bodies across Ireland in partnership with the HSE Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

The focus of the Irish campaign is Solidarity with all people living with HIV, both those who know they are living with HIV, and those who don’t. The campaign has been running since 27 November 2015 and will run until World AIDS Day on the 1 December 2015, and aims to raise awareness about the many issues that present themselves for people living with HIV and those at risk of contracting HIV.

The key messages of HIV Visibility, HIV Stigma, HIV Support and HIV Knowledge are being promoted through a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter asking people to show their solidarity with people who are living with HIV. They can do so by wearing a red ribbon, starting a conversation about HIV with friends and family, challenging HIV stigma and discrimination if they encounter it, or learning more about safer sex and getting tested for HIV. The hashtag for the campaign is #WADirl. Continue reading “#WADirl launched by Irish Health Minister”

A bit of a bounce last week…

It was results time last Tuesday morning when I visited the Royal Victoria Hospital’s GUM clinic for possibly the last time. Since diagnosis my CD4 count has been rather on the low side, on diagnosis, it was 100, and has dropped to 80, before climbing up to above 200. Last Tuesday morning I got told that it was over three hundred! As I said on Twitter: #bounce VL <70. CD4 = 330 and 20%. #bestever couldn't have done w/o help from @BelfastTrust @belfastwriter and @PositiveLife_NI — John [HIVBlogger] (@HIVBlogger) March 25, 2014 The Viral Load count was a little bit higher than … Continue reading A bit of a bounce last week…

HIV healthcare workers – response from NI Department

Hearing the news that the UK Department of Health is relaxing the current restrictions on healthcare workers living with HIV working in the NHS, I contacted the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, the DUP’s Edwin Poots MLA, asking what plans he had for introducing this here in Northern Ireland. Whilst I was having my complementary therapy at Positive Life, a response arrived in my inbox. I was informed of the statement made by a DHSSSPS spokesman earlier today, The Department is aware of the position taken by the Department of Health in England in relation to HIV … Continue reading HIV healthcare workers – response from NI Department

Award-winning blogger second year running

Little did I think as I wrote the short recent post “HIVBlogger.me.uk – telling my positive life” did I think that there would be another quick post about the blog in such a short period of time. Last year HIVBlogger.me.uk was selected by the editors of Healthline as one of the ‘Best of the Web’. The testimonial said, Michael is a talented, soulful writer with plenty to say. Stop by to leave a word of encouragement or thank him for sharing his story – you will be inspired by his courage, grace, and selflessness.—Healthline Editors As I wrote on HIVBlogger.me.uk last year, Reading [that I had got the award] made me … Continue reading Award-winning blogger second year running

Stand tall: get snapped – photographic exhibition in Glasgow

Looks like there is going to be a great exhibition in Glasgow from 14 June 2013 until 13 July. Photographer Edo Zollo presents a photographic portrait exhibition of 30 HIV+ people. Inspired by his own experience of taking PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) after potential exposure to the HIV virus, the intense feelings aroused and the unpleasant side effects of this medication, Edo was prompted to explore what it must be like to actually have a positive HIV diagnosis. Determined to expose the still widely held misconceptions about the virus, and to offer affected individuals the opportunity to share their experiences, … Continue reading Stand tall: get snapped – photographic exhibition in Glasgow

Irish figures reveal sharp increase in HIV among young gay men

Today is Irish AIDS Day and the news is not good. The largest ever levels of new HIV cases in gay and bisexual men have been revealed. The Irish Health & Safety Executive’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that there were 166 newly diagnosed cases of HIV for gay and bisexual men in 2012 in Ireland. These figures are the highest diagnosis rates recorded to date in the State. The figures show that HIV diagnosis rates amongst gay and bisexual men have increased by 160% between 2005 and 2012 and that they now represent just under half (48%) of all new … Continue reading Irish figures reveal sharp increase in HIV among young gay men

Reversing roles can bring you closer together

This evening I am off up to the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, to visit my husband Andrew who today had an operation. Hopefully, it has done what was needed and he will no longer have a gall bladder. It has been causing him no end of pain since August 2012. It’s quite the role reversal for the two of us: me visiting him in hospital and not the other way about. For nearly all of our life together it has been me that has been the one who has needed much care and attention. Now, I get to give back some … Continue reading Reversing roles can bring you closer together