All posts filed under: Stigma

Shocked at being told I had “the plague”

So it is 2016 and last night as the old year was preparing to leave, I got told that I had the plague: the gay plague. I thought that this sort of language was only to be expected from conservatives in the US like Walter Kubitz in Virginia. But this was in Ireland, from someone who ought to know better. To say that I was disappointed in this person is something of an understatement.    

“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.

#LiveHIVNeutral — my pledge

I pledge to Live HIV Neutral; to challenge stigma if I experience, see or hear it, and to be an advocate for people with and affected by HIV.—John Carchrie Campbell #LiveHIVNeutral What does living HIV neutral mean? To live HIV neutral is to be informed and stigma-free in all that we say and do.  It is both a state of mind and a way of behaving that ensure people stay informed of the evolving truth about HIV, irrespective of their HIV status. It enables informed decision-making about our social and sexual health.  And it enables everyone to be advocates who challenge HIV stigma. Pay It Forward Once you have taken The Pledge, share it with at least two others, but ideally ask everyone you know to take the Live HIV Neutral Pledge.

Updated: Response from Bailiff of Jersey over #WAD collection

All around the world people are using World AIDS Day (1 December)as a time to raise funds for HIV charities and to raise awareness of HIV in their communities. However this is not going to happen on the Channel Island of Jersey. I have been told that the Bailiff of Jersey has said that Only collections for Christmas charities are allowed to collect in December. I have sent an email to the Bailiff seeking clarification of this ruling. I will update this blog when/if I get a response. UPDATE: Response from David Filipponi, Chief Officer, Bailiff’s Chambers, St Helier, Jersey: Dear Mr Campbell, Thank you for your email addressed to the Bailiff concerning collections and World AIDS Day. Over the years, permission has been granted to ACET to collect for World AIDS Day as near to the 1st December as is requested by that charity. This year, ACET collected on Saturday 28th November. This arrangement allows the collection date to be ‘shared’ with the Joint Christmas Charities Appeal which also collects at this time of …

#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 https://t.co/tq2shMQtW7 pic.twitter.com/QNacBqq3K5 — 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 …

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 opinion everyday is WAD. Every day those of us living with HIV and our allies raise awareness in our own ways. Read the rest of Matthew Hodson’s article here.

#StandUpToHIV – AVERT campaign tackles fears of HIV

46% of people living with HIV do not know they have it. Stigma surrounding HIV remains one of the biggest reasons people are not testing.  To mark World AIDS Day (1 December 2015) HIV charity AVERT has launched an animation to help people overcome fears and worries about HIV – something which is stopping millions of people from getting tested for the virus. Yesterday they launched their Stand Up to HIV campaign to challenge people to overcome their fear of HIV. They want to encourage testing for HIV by promoting knowledge of the facts about HIV and living with the virus and by challenging HIV stigma. With World AIDS Day (1st December) just around the corner, we must all support others to stand up to fear, stand up to HIV and get tested. Avert recognises that HIV stigma is a huge barrier to getting tested. To tackle this they have developed a new webpage that talks people through the most common concerns regarding HIV. We have also launched an animation to help people overcome their …

Is HIV stigma still a problem in Dublin?

For many of us living with HIV there is always the niggling thought at the back of our heads that other people will talk about our status, often behind our backs, and if we are particularly unfortunate it may even be to our face. The number of times that I have had negative responses to my face from people knowing that I am living with HIV can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But it seems that I have been lucky. From “the accounts of a group of gay men living with HIV in Dublin, most of whom rarely, if ever, disclose their HIV status to casual sexual partners” (aidsmap.com) come the stark revelation of the extent of HIV stigma in the gay community in the city. In the study, Murphy notes the language used by his interviewees – ‘slut’, ‘leper’, ‘criminal’ and ‘AIDS-riddled whore’. In this context, not disclosing HIV status was a form of self-protection. The benefits of disclosure were uncertain while its negative consequences were all too frightening. Can we …