Saturday, 1 December 2012

World AIDS Day 2012

I, thankfully, have never experienced HIV/AIDS on a personal level. Yes, I've been tested but no one I know personally has been affected by this issue. However when I came out I did get to chat to several men who had been out on the scene in the 1980s and who lost many friends to this awful illness. We must all work together to try and defeat this virus so that no one needs lose any more friends.

World AIDS Day is about remembering what is important: AIDS awareness (take a quiz here to learn things you probably didn't know!), knowing your status (find your nearest HIV testing centre), and trying to make this a HIV/AIDS free world. Eradication is NOT impossible. We can end this. We need to educate people in how to prevent it and help those who have it.

Ultimately this all comes down to money. And that is something we can all help with. Please donate to the National AIDS Trust and/or the Terrence Higgins Trust.

AIDS is not a "gay disease" but in the UK gay men are still the most likely group to get it. 3000 gay men were diagnosed with HIV in 2011. That is the highest number ever recorded. It is vital we spread the message about safe sex and getting tested regularly.

We must never forget what HIV/AIDS did to our community. The following documentary and movie are extremely good at showing how devastating this illness was (and is). We must fight it, with all our might.

After Stonewall:

And The Band Played On:

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist


Plum said...

Additionalloy, I find it criminally stupid that in a country with free health care, all sexually active people in the UK do not get themselves periodically tested.

Not just HIV but miriad other STIs can screw up your life and those around you, and all for the sake of 10 mins once every few years? Every city has confidential drop-in facilities of one kind or another where you don't need an appointment and you don't even have to give your name, and there is absolutely no excuse for not taking advantage of them.

Plum said...

(every few MONTHS, not years, oops)

Jae Kay said...

Totally agree. Even little old Folkestone has a large, easy access sexual health clinic.