Living With HIV and AIDS

World Aids Day, 1st December, is a worldwide campaign to promote HIV awareness, fight stigma and discrimination and share important information about HIV. A huge part of the campaign is also to support and encourage HIV testing, promote treatment, support those living with HIV and AIDS and remember those we have lost.  

World AIDS Day began in 1988 and ever since, people around the world have been uniting to support those living with HIV and AIDS. This year, for 2022,  the theme is Equalize, with UNAIDS urging each and every citizen of the world to challenge global inequalities surrounding HIV and AIDS.  

At Shine, here in Newcastle, we are committed to this work all year round; every day we support women locally and beyond to find out about their sexual health and wellbeing and also their rights. We offer free and confidential HIV testing, information, and support, as well as lots of other services, including providing the time and space if women have things on their mind they want to talk through, or find out about. We also do practical things like provide free condoms, lube and pregnancy testing and support. We meet people privately or can chat over the phone and online. Really, we work in a way that suits the individual best.

Almost half of new HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals in the UK are among Black African men and women, despite this group making up less than 2% of the British population.

 

We know and understand how difficult it can be to talk about anything to do with sex and sexual health, and this includes HIV and AIDS. 

HIV does not discriminate; anyone can be affected no matter who they are. It is so important to know your HIV status and take control of your health.  Free and effective treatment is available, which keeps people healthy and can stop the transmission of HIV to others. 

Have you seen the U=U campaign? This means if a person is on effective HIV treatment the HIV virus can be undetectable, meaning it can’t be passed on through sex. 

Today over 105,000 people live with HIV in the UK. Yet recent research found 63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months (National AIDS Trust, 2022). Today over 105,000 people live with HIV in the UK, and estimates suggest over 4000 are yet to be diagnosed. 

Recent research found 63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months (National AIDS Trust, 2002)

Can you be part of the campaign? Can you talk to others about HIV and how important it is to test? Can you wear a red ribbon on 1st December? We would love to hear from you!  Shine will be out and about in Newcastle on 1st and 2nd December, so watch this space to find out more. 

This year’s World AIDS Day Vigil is at the Civic Drum, Newcastle Civic Centre on Thursday 1st of December 7.30-9pm. Hot drinks and red glow sticks will be available in the safe space.

If we are to meet the target of halting new HIV transmissions by 2030 the voices, experiences and needs of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities must be given specific focus and support.

 

Shine is on Twitter and Facebook

If you are interested in finding out more about HIV, or how to test or anything about Shine. Please contact us! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill Hardie

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