Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

World AIDS Day 2014: This is what HIV looks like

The truth about HIV:

  • There are nearly 110,000 people living with HIV in the UK
  • Approximately 26,000 people living with HIV in the UK have not yet been diagnosed
  • More than one million HIV tests were performed in sexual health clinics in 2013
  • In 2013, 6,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV  in the UK
  • In 2013, 42 per cent of adults newly diagnosed HIV were diagnosed late, after they should have started treatment
  • In 2013 less than 1 per cent of people with HIV died
  • Around 1 in 17 men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the  UK has HIV
  • Black African people make up 1.8 per cent of the UK population but 36% of all people living  with HIV
  • In 2013 there were 2,449 black Caribbean people in the UK living with a diagnosed HIV and accessing HIV care

More information from  National Aids Trust

When Hunter Charlton was diagnosed with the virus aged 20, he was overcome with grief, believing he would be dead within 10 years. As he learnt more, the anguish turned to anger – at the ignorance that still causes fear and stigma for so many like him.

In a single moment, my life was irreversibly altered. The doctor’s reassurances washed over me in a haze: it was as if he was trying to communicate with me in a language I could not speak. There can be no single correct way to break this sort of news; in retrospect, I think his light-touch approach was misjudged. At the time, I believed that I would be dead within a decade. Looking back, what I needed was information, a support line, and someone to dispel the grief that was drowning me. At the very least, an info leaflet to tell me that I was not at death’s door. The student-health clinic offered none of these. I left the consultation room consumed by denial but also confounded by a set of newly discovered contradictions.

Click on the link to read more



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