“We need to talk about HIV, not just on WAD but also on the other 364 days of the year”

It’s World AIDS Day tomorrow and it’s been a while since doing a blog so here we are. A blog like this is brilliant to create conversations about a matter like HIV but unfortunately it does take up a lot of time. Conversations about HIV are something I initiate dozens of times per day when face to face with members of the public, colleagues, politicians, insurance brokers and goodness knows who else, so much so that someone recently asked “why do you talk about HIV so much?”. Simply put was my reply, “I am making up for the lack of conversation there has been”.

We need to talk about HIV, not just on WAD but also on the other 364 days of the year that this virus is present in society, so many people already do from advocates to journalists but we need more, more conversation, more awareness, more preventative treatments such as PrEP to be made available, if anyone should doubt this just look at the rising number of diagnoses in many parts of the world.

Since WAD 2015 the shape of society has changed greatly, with referendum and election results unnerving many people who are living with HIV (as well as others). PLHIV need reassuring, possibly now more than ever, the commitment from politicians and the public that they will continue raising awareness to the condition along with continuing to address the challenges we face. If these commitments can be made there is hope that whatever political turbulence is faced over the coming years will not have an influence on policy, services or our standard of healthcare/life. Having said that, if there is one thing people living with HIV know how to do its pull together as a community and have each others back, so let’s make a commitment to ourselves that we will first ensure our own health and ability to living well with HIV and secondly if we come across another PLHIV who needs that bit of advice or guidance we will give it.

Well that’s it from me this World AIDS Day, if there is an event near you tomorrow, please go to it, get a conversation going with someone about HIV stigma and don’t forget to wear your red ribbon.