Unfortunately, people have grown complacent over the years.
“So what if I get it? They’ve got a cure for it now.”
Nobody wants to force the stigma on sufferers, but the only way the message is going to get across is when people start dying and it scares the living crap out of you.
I am of an age where had I been ‘out’, I would have almost certainly caught HIV, (and I wouldn’t be typing this now), because it was a time when nobody knew what it was, or how it was transmitted. I remember walking into gay bars a few years on and noticing a gaping ‘hole’ – There was nobody around my age. Some rather younger or older, but my generation were not there, because they were all dead.
When that sort of realisation hits you you make absolutely fcking sure you practice safer sex and get regularly tested.
No ifs or buts. I was lucky, you may not be.
My partner was born HIV+ , one of about 650 people in the UK born before mother-child transmission could be prevented. Aged 21, he’s in good health, but the daily meds don’t always agree with him, I lost a number of good friends in the early 1980s to the virus, and it’s great to know that here in the West it is (for the vast majority of people) manageable if unpleasant. We need to work on the ridiculous social stigma surrounding this disease, and discuss it honestly and openly.
I’m pleased to see Cameron (with whom I very rarely agree about anything!) has made this video.
Very well said Nick & thanks for highlighting the individuals who were born with HIV in the UK, which are often forgotten about. As I keep saying HIV should be the concern of everyone, not just the most at risk groups.
We need a National education Campaign that provides well rounded information about HIV as things stand today, be that treatment & care, social issues & the wider implications for all population groups.