1st December: World Aids Day

End the stigma.

Every year since 1988, December 1st has been a day that raises awareness and support for HIV in the form of ‘World AIDS Day‘.

Bringing people together from around the world to raise awareness and unite in the fight against HIV. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus, with over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK.

“It is time for us to step up and acknowledge that stigma and discrimination still act as the greatest barrier to us defeating this disease once and for all.” – Prince Harry

With people fundraising around the world, it’s a great opportunity to show your support for NAT (National AIDS Trust). The 2016 campaign tackles the problem of people being stigmatised for having the virus. Having HIV today is very different to 20-30 years ago with better treatments and support, but people are still being mistreated in social & work environments.

A major misconception is that heterosexuals are not affected by the HIV Virus, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since 1999, heterosexual sex had overtaken sex between men as the most common route of transmission among new HIV cases overall. In 2015, 48% of those receiving HIV care were exposed through sex between a man and a woman.

‘Not Retro, Just Wrong’ – NAT believe certain things from the 80’s & 90’s should be brought back, but the stigma of HIV should be left in the past.

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Music has played a major role in raising the awareness of the virus, Elton John has always been an active campaigner for the cause. Elton wrote “The Last Song” for his young friend Ryan White, a hemophiliac who contracted HIV/AIDS through a transfusion.

 

Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder came together in 1985 to release a charity single “That’s what Friends Are For” which raised funds for the American Foundation for AIDS research. The single raised over $3 million for the organisation and led onto too a benefit concert in 1990 which raised over $2.5 million for various AIDS organisations.

This year at Entertainers, we have teamed up with our Charity Partner – Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). We have given the charity 20 pairs of tickets to our Magic of Motown Show, at the Indigo at The O2 Arena, to auction off to raise money and awareness. On the night, we will also have collection to collect donations to help support this incredible charity.

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Actor and Director of Entertainers, James Lee Taylor, is running The Virgin Money London Marathon 2017 to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust. To sponser James, click here.

Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity offering support, information and advice services for those living with HIV and effected by HIV or poor sexual health. Services include HIV testing, counselling, group and peer support, long term condition management and prevention. THT Direct is the charities helpline and email providing advice and information when you need it and in a way that suits you.

Their vision is a world where people with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination, and good sexual health is a right and reality for all.

HIV facts

  • HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system and weakens the body’s ability to fight diseases.
  • An estimated 103,700 people are living with HIV in the UK and 6,000 people are diagnosed every year. Of these, 17% are un-diagnosed and do not know about their HIV infection.
  • HIV treatment lowers the amount of virus in the blood to undetectable levels which stops it from damaging the immune system, and means the virus cannot be passed on to other people.
  • There is still a great deal of stigma about HIV. Stigma is damaging as it prevents people from getting tested, from accessing treatment and from living a happy and healthy life.
  • The most common way HIV is transmitted is through sex without a condom.
  • You cannot get HIV through casual or day-to-day contact, or kissing, spitting or sharing a cup, plate or toilet seat.

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV.

Red ribbons are available from the World AIDS Day website.

Join us in taking a stand on social media by sharing a photo or video of yourself dressed as in the 80’s/90’s style, using the #HIVNOTRETRO hashtag.

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Above: James Lee Taylor, Actor and Director at Entertainers, at the launch of his new TV show, ‘Reinas’.

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Above: Some of the cast from Magic of Motown wearing their red ribbons with pride.

Important Links:

www.nat.org.uk

www.lifewithHIV.org – a resource for HIV positive people

www.HIVaware.org.uk – what everyone should know about HIV

https://www.instagram.com/nationalaidstrust/ – NAT Instagram