Today is World AIDS day. You’ll see stuff all over the media for a day. The dilemma for those publicizing the spread of HIV is that encouraging sympathy for those infected in the third world will make life harder for the newly infected in the first world.
Earlier this year I made some films for a website to support British gay men who have recently been diagnosed as HIV positive. The concept is to them stories from all sorts of men who have different stories to tell about how they dealt and are dealing with HIV. After seeing that all sorts of reactions are ‘allowed’ on hearing the diagnosis, users should learn that being HIV positive in the UK is medically just like any other disease that requires you take a pill or two at the same time of the day for the rest of your life. It is other people’s reaction to your positive status becomes the hardest thing to deal with for most people. Sadly, awareness days like today might make other people’s reaction more difficult to manage.
To find out the practicality what it means to be HIV positive in the UK in 2008, visit What Next? Note that the site uses adult language to talk about all aspects of HIV.