As a director of an LGBTQ company I feel a great responsibility to contribute to making our community a better place. It is this very reason that we jumped at the chance to work with Bio Sure on the ’Know your status live, 2019’ red carpet event.
I am constantly shocked by the level of ignorance that still surrounds this treatable disease. Just the other day I heard the story of a childhood friend, who after 20 years of friendship (and following her joyful announcement that she was pregnant)…made it abundantly clear that he had no place in her life anymore. Thankfully these kinds of stories are rarer than ever, but they do still exist.
Why do we need a self-testing kit?
But in this day and age why do we need a home self-testing kit? After all, if you live in London then you have access to Dean Street within the heart of London’s Gay district; they couldn’t be more LGBTQ+ friendly if they tried. Then the 38-year-old me had to think again. I remembered back to a 17-year-old version of myself, who lived far away from the big smoke in a small town in Dorset (a country bumpkin if you will).
I remember the absolute fear of being seen anywhere near that hospital GUM clinic; what if my mum’s friend saw me…I’m sure my friends brother works here!…They will know I’m gay! I remember that these fears were far from adverted when I eventually arrived and got what my mum would describe as ‘something to be desired when it comes to bedside manner’. Of course, nowadays this isn’t commonplace by any means… but I never forgot that experience.
Living your best life
I have so many friends who are HIV+ and live a full, healthy and happy life. We only have to look at the outpouring of support and encouragement that Gareth Thomas has received recently from the public, after being so cruelly outed by the press. It is a real sign of how far we have come.
The message is clear; this is a treatable disease and with minor adjustments your life doesn’t have to change at all. We all just need to get that message out there, so we are all on the same page: the only thing to be worried about is not knowing!
That is exactly why we are so proud to celebrate World’s Aids Day by supporting the ‘Know your Status Live’ on 1st December 2019. Get tickets at https://www.outsavvy.com/event/3402/worldaidsday .
Personally, I can’t wait for the Dolly show!