Looking forward to World Aids Day 2018

We are coming up on European HIV Hepatitis Testing Week from 23rd to 30th November. And then, on 1st December, it will be World Aids Day. When I was in Gibraltar, I was interviewed by GBC News​ while friends from the Gibraltar Health Authority’s Infection Control and Health Promotion Unit were handing out red ribbons to raise awareness. Raising awareness is something I try to do by simply being open about living with HIV. There have been a few updates since that interview. Due to the advances in medication, there are now more choices in what I take. Medication can … Continue reading Looking forward to World Aids Day 2018

#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”

World AIDS Day everyday to reduce stigma

The stigma that people with HIV routinely face discourages many from testing and others from being open about their HIV status.— Matthew Hodson | @matthew_hodson This is a major problem in fighting HIV. I still maintain that until more people living with HIV stand up and come out, tell their friends and family, colleagues and acquaintances, that they are living with HIV, it is going to be difficult to reduce the stigma. There is a concentration of stories about HIV at the moment because of World AIDS Day (WAD) on 1st December. WAD concentrates the coverage, but we in my … Continue reading World AIDS Day everyday to reduce stigma

“Positive about HIV” – feature in Sunday Life

At the end of last month, I met with Sara Girvin, a reporter with The Sunday Life — Sunday newspaper of the year — to talk to her about living with HIV. Sara had contacted me earlier in the month via Twitter suggesting an interview in the future. As before, with the Belfast Telegraph, and Ulster Television, and anyone else really, I am happy to talk about living with HIV. Sara suggested it being   ‘at some stage before Christmas’ and I suggested that we have it leading up to 1 December, which is World AIDS Day.

The Sunday Life unlike its sister daily paper, the Belfast Telegraph, does not have a website. This can only be for the reason that they want us to go out and spend the £1.40 on buying the paper. I do have some sympathy for them, but on occasion it is awkward when trying to get people to read the article. So, that afternoon, Andrew went out and got a copy. Below is a photo of the spread — I did not expect to be across two pages!

Photo of “Positive about HIV” article by Sara Girvin in the Sunday Life 24 Nov 2013.
Photo of “Positive about HIV” article by Sara Girvin in the Sunday Life 24 Nov 2013.

Continue reading ““Positive about HIV” – feature in Sunday Life”