30 years of World AIDS Day
posted by Rosie Ellingham
on 30th November 2018
This year, the 1st December marks 30 years of World AIDS Day, and true to form, Yorkshire MESMAC has been busy in the lead up to this, both with delivering over 300 tests for National HIV Testing week, and planning and participating in a variety of World AIDS Day events across Yorkshire.
With diagnoses on the decrease in the UK and people living with HIV enjoying long, healthy lives it could be easy to become complacent about it. World AIDS Day provides us with a yearly reminder that we still have work to do. The picture around the world doesn’t match the amazing strides we are making in the UK. News this week told us that the UK is hitting global targets in HIV prevention, which is something to be extremely proud of.
However, we need to remember that while HIV is on the decline in the UK, there are still 8,000 people living with HIV who don’t know it, and late diagnosis is a key challenge. Early diagnosis is a game changer in preventing transmission. WAD and National HIV Testing week help to remind people of the importance of testing in order to prevent HIV transmission.
WAD is the time of remembrance, reflection, learning and planning for the future. Knowing your status is the key, and at Yorkshire MESMAC we join the world in remembering those who are living with HIV and also providing a testing opportunity to all those who wants to know their status.
We need to celebrate the successes of treatment, developments like U = U and the amazing potential of PrEP use – but also never forget those we’ve lost and those who continue to suffer throughout the world from lack of access to testing and treatment. We are the generation that can see an end to HIV.
Counsellor Richard Dunbar of Bradford told us: “World Aids Day is a constant reminder that stigma around the disease still exists & that in order to fight it we must continue to speak up for those who suffer, speak out against prejudice and continue to educate wider society. In Bradford, across the country & around the world we must be unrelenting in our approach in challenging this cruel disease and the ignorance which so often makes it worse.”
To contact any of our offices for other services, click here.
Below are events occurring across Yorkshire to mark World AIDS Day:
Friday 30th November
BHA Skyline Leeds are holding a World AIDS Day event on Friday 30th November 2018 at 6pm, at Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds.
Saturday 1st December 2018
Yorkshire MESMAC are offering free, fast and confidential HIV/STI testing at 22/23 Blayds Yard, LS14AD from 12-2pm.
West Yorkshire Queer Stories present “Archives of feeling”, a talk and discussion with Professor Matt Cook 1:30-3pm exploring the archive of AIDS testimonies from the 1980s. This is followed by a talk and discussion with Ross Horsley of WYQS from 3:10-5pm.
Leeds Hunters RUFC and Sheffield Vulcans RUFC are fundraising for Yorkshire MESMAC by playing a friendly game at Hallam Sports Park, Sheffield, with the kick-off at 2pm. There will be a two minute’s silence to remember those who fought battles against HIV and AIDS, and to support those living today. There will also be a social afterwards in Sheffield’s gay quarter.
Viaduct Showbar are running fundraisers for World AIDS Day on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December, featuring local talent from 7pm and a Freddy Mercury tribute from 10pm. All Proceeds will be going to Yorkshire MESMAC.
Students at Bradford university teamed up with Yorkshire MESMAC and Hale sexual health to create a series of videos aiming to bust the stigma of HIV. We will be releasing short films up to the day, with a full short film on the day. There will be a get together on the day at Bradford MESMAC offices where tests are available all day. It’s free fast and confidential.
Hull have commemorated 30 years of WAD with a #30FactsFor30Years trail of thirty unique posters around the city, each with a different message about HIV and World AIDS Day.
On 1st December, Hull will be holding their annual Human Red Ribbon event in Trinity Market at 2pm, hosted by the fabulous Regina Sparkles. The people of Hull will come together to raise metres of red fabric in the shape of a red ribbon to remember those we have lost and celebrate the breakthroughs we have made. There will be free red ribbon scarves and badges available for the first 100 people to arrive too! https://www.facebook.com/events/1982807305353231/
YorSexual Health and Yorkshire MESMAC this week have been talking to the Archbishop’s wife about HIV. She did a test and talked about the importance of HIV prevention for Black Africans, you can see the video of her being tested here:
Meadowhall has been lit up in red over national HIV testing week and will be on WAD too!
Image: CDW Cj testing
Margaret Sentamu, The Archbishop of York's wife.