All posts filed under: health


We Can. I can. Supporting #WorldCancerDay

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the virus which causes Genital Warts and can lead to oropharyngeal, penile, anal and cervical cancer. At this stage all cis females are vaccinated against the most pervasive strains of HPV at age 14. The idea is/was that as those cis females grew older they would immunise the men they had sexual relations with. What the government did not account for is the number of men who exclusively have sex with men and trans individuals who had transitioned after 14. As such I am asking you to join the thunderclap to help remind our politicians to support the upcoming motion to immunise all individuals from 14 onwards against HPV. Please share far and wide to help us maximise this. Hat tip to James Copeland at The Rainbow Project. Advertisements

Problems using the toilet? Try squatting instead of sitting

If like me you have had problems when using the toilet, feeling a strain to evacuate waste from your body, getting all tensed up, which then makes the problem worse… well there is a solution. Squatty Potty® Squatty Potty® is based in the USA, but I am sure there will be ways of getting it here in Europe. Until I find that, I will be try and use something else to do the same job.

“My HIV. Our Problem.”

Andrew Keates has made this documentary about living with HIV. I don’t know him personally, but a friend does. He asks himself questions that he has been asked before and then answers them. Who gave you HIV? Don’t you just pop a pill a day and everything’s fine? How’s your love life? He tells the story of living with HIV, being undetectable, and falling in love. Much of the story that he tells is similar to my own. I am so glad that he has made the video. Now, please go and watch it, and share it with your friends. But, most importantly of all, if you do not know your HIV status, go and get a test. It is the only way of knowing. And when you know you can get treatment.

Talking can help your mental health

Every single one of us can experience a mental health problem. It is simply part of the rollercoaster of life. But as with HIV, there is a quite a large amount of stigma surrounding it, particularly in Irish society. It does not have to be this way, there are things that each one of us can do to make it better. This is why I am supporting the Green Ribbon campaign. It is likely that you, or someone you know, will go through a tough time at some point in their life. Talking about it can help, and we all can learn how to support one another. You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know that you are there for them and simply listen. Although you can’t solve someone else’s problems, knowing the basics about how to support someone can really help you – and them. Find out more from

36% increase in HIV diagnoses over last five years in Northern Ireland

The figures recently released by Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency show some worrying figures. I sincerely hope that the Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, and the Health Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly take them to heart and work to make them better. The figures show that in the ten years since 2004, Northern Ireland has had a 47% increase in new HIV diagnoses compared with a UK reduction of 20%. In the last five years, Northern Ireland has the greatest increase of new HIV diagnoses among the four countries of the UK at 36%, compared with the overall reduction of 8%. It seems that England and Scotland are doing very well in reducing HIV diagnoses. Both Wales and Northern Ireland need to work on what they are doing. I am sure that The Rainbow Project and Positive Life will have ideas on how to promote better sexual health. Hopefully the PHA’s own public information campaign launched earlier this year, ‘Choose to protect yourself – always use a condom’, which encourages people to take steps …

51% of new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage.

“Statistics show that 51% of new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage. If you’ve put yourself at risk it is really important to get tested for HIV to ensure an early diagnosis. People respond better to treatment when they are diagnosed at an earlier stage of disease.”—Dr Neil Irvine, Consultant in Public Health, PHA The statistics for HIV in 2014 have been published by Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency.

#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. First 5 day national World AIDS Day campaign launched by @campaignforleo today #WADirl — HSE Ireland (@HSElive) November 26, 2015 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 …