Up until the age of 40 (2002) I was a responsible gay man. I ensured that I used protection every time I had a casual sexual encounter. I was not in a committed relationship at that stage, so it was not even an option for me to bareback with someone. I found that exceptionally scary at the time, as I was aware of how easy it was to contract STDs, especially HIV.
Here is what Stop Porn Culture has to say to porn performers: Don't come to our conference to protest, come to organize with us against an industry that treats you as a commodity, when they can make a profit off of you, and then as a liability if you speak out about the harms done to you physically and emotionally.
I think all of us who have attended an International AIDS Conference in some capacity will agree that events of this kind are few and far between. I go to many conferences both as a delegate and speaker and nothing rivals the pure energy, colour and emotion that International AIDS conferences bring to the people that attend them, in the first instance and secondly, to the cities that host them...
On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.
New data from UNAIDS, the UN's main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, reveals that an estimated 3.6 million people aged 50 and older are living with HIV. For the first time since the start of the HIV epidemic, 10% of the adult population living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries is aged 50 or older.
Once back in England I met a great guy on a night out. On our second date he disclosed that he was HIV positive... This person educated me. I learned the science behind HIV and this knowledge freed me from the fear that I'd harboured before. More importantly for me though was the openness: when it was relevant, he shared his status, and with his consent, I did the same. What began as cathartic became educational. It was amazing how little people knew!
At Malaria No More UK we stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone whose lives have been affected and all those working tirelessly to fight this deadly yet preventable epidemic... World Aids Day is a day to spur ourselves on for action and refusal to accept that this is how things will continue to be.
I'm writing this at the tail end of what has been a hectic but extraordinarily energising week on the path to AIDS2014 - I know it's only October 2013 but it is certainly apparent already to me and my colleagues both here in Australia and at the IAS Secretariat in Switzerland that there is already a groundswell of momentum building ahead of the event.