More to Me Than HIV

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More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

1995

In the beginning…

The way many of us saw the corona virus as something on the other side of the world, was how many of us in the UK saw the onslaught of HIV and AIDS. For me it was something that happened in Africa and America then we started to hear that gay men in London were falling ill. 

In Norwich, we were in a bubble, I can’t imagine anyone would be putting there hand up to say they had HIV. The reason why became very apparent when two gorgeous American solders came to the only gay club in town, and much to my shame none of us spoke to them, they just stood in the corner for a bit and eventually left.

Do You Understand?

I used to think that AIDS happed to
Africans and Americans
Well, that’s what I was led to believe
and with that knowledge I felt safe.

Do you Understand?

I heard that the plague was rife in London
so it was best for a provincial queen like me
to stay clear of any East End Rough

Do you Understand?

I once heard of a friend of a friend who
knew someone who had died of cancer
It was best not to call it AIDS

Do You Understand?

I’ve sat by the beds of friends who looked
starved and grey, who shit themselves and could
not tell me it hurt and degraded them

Do You Understand?

I heard today I’ve got five years to die
to join the statistics on some government list
I prepared to pack away my Go-Go Boots and fans

Do you understand?

Seven years on, I’ve still not gone, I’ve decided
not to take my doctors advice
I’ve kept my boots and fans, i’v decided  to give
death a miss, for a bit….and I’ll dance to
some HI-N-R-G song

Now, do you understand

written 1995

Do You Understand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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