HIV: Past, Present and Future

Last week our SX team held their latest Chat event: ‘HIV, Past, Present, and Future’. Hosted by CC Blooms, the evening brought people together to talk about their relationship with, and different experiences of, HIV. Overall

At Waverley Care, we believe holding events like this where people are given the space to talk about HIV, are extremely important. They empower people to bring their lived experiences to the centre of the conversation about the future of LGBTI+ communities. During ‘HIV, Past, Present and Future’, contributors spoke openly and honestly about HIV, their experiences of accessing PrEP, experiences of stigma, the development of U=U and the future of HIV. With support from our SX team, it was a safe space in which members of our community living with or affected by HIV could share their stories

Throughout the evening, there were lots of issues raised such as the stigmatisation of those living with HIV from within our own community, as well as the stigma they experience when engaging with health care services. We as a community need to talk about the sex we have and enjoy. We need to talk openly about sex as pleasurable, not shameful – with sex being celebrated, not shunned.

Overall, the event helped challenge HIV stigma through conversation while educating the community on the advancements of HIV medications. As a community, we must talk about the inequalities that impact our health and wellbeing – by speaking openly we can help tackle stigma. Through facilitating events like this, the importance of learning from our peers and the experiences of others is brought to the fore.

“Talking and working together through the challenges we face is the only way we can truly tackle stigma. That’s why events like these are so important.”

– Christopher Ward, SX Health Improvement Worker