HIV, and the stigma surrounding the virus has been brought back to the public’s attention recently, thanks to Russel T Davies and his groundbreaking Channel 4 Drama, ‘It’s A Sin’. If you haven’t already watched it, where have you been? It gives an accurate account of what the AIDS pandemic was like in the 1980’s and early 90’s.
It brought to light the true experience so many men of that generation experienced, and after talking to friends who lived through that ordeal, they said it was exactly how they remembered it.
You can’t help watching it without thinking about all of the poor men and women who lost their lives, and how they were brushed aside because of their sexuality… because of who they love.
After watching, the thing that stayed with me was… that would have been me…
Thankfully, so much has changed since then; society, treatments, and our behaviours… but we still have some way to go. I know I won’t be alone when I tell you I’ve had to deal with stigma and abuse about my HIV status…mostly on that infamous ‘dating’ app.
We as a society have yet to catch up with the medical advances that have been made over the years. Undetectable is Untransmittable, and being HIV+ doesn’t make us ‘dirty’… so guys, stop asking each other “are you ‘clean’?” Instead, get yourself tested regularly, and consider starting PrEP if that would suit your lifestyle.
In honour of all those we lost through that pandemic, you have not been forgotten. La! X