December 1st, 2006

mini me + poo

And so this is WAD, and what have you done?

There's always some controversy in the UK's HIV sector about UN World Aids Day, not least because not once in its eighteen years has the theme been gay and bisexual men (to be sure, the nature of the epidemic varies from country to country, but even so...) and the way the resulting publicity across the media tends to reflect that.

The annual impact on clinics and sexual health services is also a mixed blessing - the phone's been very busy this week with people who once saw someone who might have had HIV on TV some years ago and wonder if they need to be tested. (Only a slight exaggeration!)

Instead of a logo, have a link to Twenty First Century HIV (PDF, about 145k long.)

It is 25 years since HIV came to the shores of the UK and yet it is still surrounded by fear and silence. For many it is something that happens to 'other people'. Levels of ignorance around the reality of HIV and how it is transmitted, which were once decreasing, are now growing again.

There is still no cure for HIV, but treatments now enable people to live long and productive lives. The people who have given their stories to this publication work, play, love, have children, marry, get divorced, grieve; their lives are as interesting and as complicated as anyone else's, with the added complication of their HIV infection. Many of the problems they report are related less to the condition than to how society reacts to it and to the obstacles that are created by the ignorance and prejudice of others.

If your jaw doesn't drop at least once while reading it, I'll be amazed.