During our brainstorm we were addressing issues/themes we should focus on and someone suggested living positively. And this is where i’m going to be (slightly) controversial. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea. I think it’s something we need to promote, for people who are already positive, but I have concern about promoting it to people who aren’t infected. Having recently lost my brother to this deadly virus and seeing what he suffered through, I believe that it’s time to go back to talking about the reality of living with HIV/AIDS. I don’t mean scare tactics, though in some cases, is there a difference?
I think we need to get people, especially young people, to understand what it truely means to live with the virus. How your life changes, your family and friends want to support you, but don’t know how, the complexities of dating, when to disclose your status and to who? The implications of the medicines, if you have the opportunity to access them in the first place. I think it’s important to support our brothers and sisters living with the virus, but being too politcally correct, i.e. ‘we don’t want to offend PLWA’ is also irresponsible in my opinion. Complacency is partly a consequence of pushing the ‘living positively’ message.
I’d like to see us handle it in a different way, to show a rounded picture of living with the virus – the good, the bad and the ugly. Let’s see if we can get the funding to do that, hmmm.