if I had HIV, would you kiss me?

Via Conor on Twitter, a great online video about HIV and Stigma with Konnie Huq (remember Blue Peter?) by the Birtish Red Cross for World AIDS Day 2009.

The blurb:

What would it take for you to kiss someone with HIV? If Konnie Huq was HIV positive, would you kiss her?

The stigma experienced by people living with HIV and AIDS is immensely destructive and can further damage people who may already be in a vulnerable state. For World AIDS Day 2009, the British Red Cross carried out a survey of 16-25-year-olds in the UK, which showed that 85 per cent knew you cannot catch HIV from a kiss. Despite this, 69 per cent still wouldn’t kiss someone with HIV. So while people’s knowledge about HIV is generally good, that doesn’t necessarily translate into action.

Its not just about close contact like kissing the general trend is similar for more casual contact as well. For example, 96 per cent of people surveyed know you can’t get HIV from sharing a meal with someone who is HIV positive – but 44 per cent still wouldn’t want to buy food from a shopkeeper with HIV.

Red Cross peer educators are young people who train and teach people their own age, covering a range of humanitarian issues, including HIV. We can always use more volunteers for this challenging and rewarding role, so if you’d like to change the way people think about HIV, visit redcross.org.uk/hiv

What would it take for you to kiss someone with HIV? If Konnie Huq was HIV positive, would you kiss her?

The stigma experienced by people living with HIV and AIDS is immensely destructive and can further damage people who may already be in a vulnerable state. For World AIDS Day 2009, the British Red Cross carried out a survey of 16-25-year-olds in the UK, which showed that 85 per cent knew you cannot catch HIV from a kiss. Despite this, 69 per cent still wouldn’t kiss someone with HIV. So while people’s knowledge about HIV is generally good, that doesn’t necessarily translate into action.

Its not just about close contact like kissing the general trend is similar for more casual contact as well. For example, 96 per cent of people surveyed know you can’t get HIV from sharing a meal with someone who is HIV positive – but 44 per cent still wouldn’t want to buy food from a shopkeeper with HIV.

Red Cross peer educators are young people who train and teach people their own age, covering a range of humanitarian issues, including HIV. We can always use more volunteers for this challenging and rewarding role, so if you’d like to change the way people think about HIV, visit redcross.org.uk/hiv

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June 15th, Irish AIDS Day


Today is a the Day in Ireland we remember those who have died of AIDS and commit to helping those living with HIV/AIDS in Ireland and abroad.

As part of this a new site launched today which I mentioned during the week Stampoutstigma.ie. This site is aimed at creating awareness of the another thing that kills people with HIV/AIDS. The campiagn has two aims:

1. A year long process to tackle the stigma associated with HIV while further challenging both direct and indirect discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in Ireland, while informing and learning from experiences in developing countries.

2. To promote an understanding of HIV while highlighting the irrationality of stigma and discrimination at home and abroad.

Please, you have a chance wear a Red Ribbon today and show your support.

I sincerely hope they succeed in their aims and I leave you with the words of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa:

Many people suffering from AIDS are not killed by the disease itself. They are killed by the stigma and discrimination suurounding everyone with HIV and AIDS.