Health, fitness and Food
People living with HIV to speak out on World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is an international event to remember those who have died of AIDS and celebrate the lives of those with HIV today. It has been running every December since 1988. This year World AIDS Day takes place on Sunday 1st December.
Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, is planning two national projects around this year’s event. The charity is also able to support journalists covering HIV stories for World AIDS Day, either by lining up expert spokespeople, putting you in touch with case studies who are living with the condition, or supplying key facts and statistics. Key dates include:
- National HIV Testing Week (22nd – 29th November)
This November sees the second annual National HIV Testing Week, coordinated by Terrence Higgins Trust and its partners in HIV Prevention England. Funded by the Department of Health, the week aims to encourage communities at an increased risk of infection in the UK (gay men and people from Africa) to test more regularly for the virus. A number of events are already planned across the country during the week, targeting people most at risk of HIV, and both communities are encouraged to pledge their support for HIV testing on pledge walls at www.startswithme.org.uk.
- Ask Me About HIV (30th November – 1st December)
During the weekend of World AIDS Day, Terrence Higgins Trust will be supporting people with HIV to raise awareness and combat stigma by speaking out publicly about their condition. Public understanding of the virus can seem stuck in the past, with too few people aware of the advances in testing and treatment that have transformed HIV from a terminal illness to a manageable condition. Today, so long as someone is diagnosed in good time, they can have a full life, a near-normal life expectancy, even start a family. According to one of THT’s beneficiaries, “the most damaging thing about HIV today is what people without HIV think about it.”
Terrence Higgins Trust’s World AIDS Day project Ask Me About HIV seeks to improve society’s perception of HIV by supporting people with the condition to talk about the reality of their lives. A number of case studies living with HIV will be available for print and broadcast interviews, and the charity’s supporters will also be encouraged to help spread the message of the project by visiting a fact-sheet at www.tht.org.uk/askme (live from 18th November) and promoting key facts via their social media channels. Ask Me About HIV will launch during the week commencing 25th November, with the release of findings from a new survey of people living with HIV.
Spokespeople and case studies are available across England, Scotland and Wales. For further information or statistics on HIV, or to set up an interview, please contact Will Harris on (020) 7812 1629 or Jenny Cameron on (020) 7812 1625, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.