It was with some trepidation that I decided to put together a Project for World AIDS day at Jubilee library, my place of work. I knew from the onset that I wanted the event to be as visual as possible to get a bigger reach as possible. My thinking behind this had been that if someone saw a leaflet about HIV/AIDS most people who HIV was not part of their lives would walk by, but if there was something of visual interest to catch their eye, then a conversation could be built on from there. Eric Page organised to have the Brighton Hankie Quilt hung in the main window of the library, Romany Mark Bruce kindly loaned us a miniature replica of his famous AIDS memorial statue, Tay and the David Fray put together a video highlighting the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brighton, along with Romany’s journey in creating Tay. For my part I has intended to recreate a project that had run at Jubilee library before called, Living Library, where individuals living with HIV would sit in the library and members of the public could sit with them and hear their story. On the day my part of the event was set up in the Community Space at the back of the library along. Th space was set up for members of the public to join invited guests to talk about their experience of living with HIV. On elf the star speakers on the day was a woman called Sue from Positive Voices. Sue spoke out positively about living with HIV in a way I knew I wanted too. I found the event very empowering, but knew I was still anxious about speaking openly about my HIV+ status. This become extremely apparent to me when a television reporter from Meridian TV asked if I would speak to the camera. I calmed up and became so unsure about myself, I was happy to spaek to the people who had come to the library, but could don’t bring myself to broadcast such news to a wider public. Thankfully one of the people who came and talked stepped in.
After the event I was so pleased with how collectively we had been part of the wider collective HIV organisations who put on events throughout Brighton to remind people that HIV is a still an issue that needs to be talked about.