World AIDS Day – 1st December 2011

It is World AIDS Day on 1st December. I am grateful that I have not lost anyone to this dreadful disease. I remember in the 80s there was the hard hitting government TV campaign with John Hurt’s voice and a tombstone and the slogan ‘Don’t die of Ignorance’. It may now be featured on Channel 4’s ‘100 Greatest Scary Moments’ but it needs to be put into the context of the times, when AIDS was new and little known about. Shock tactics were the order of the day. In Australia they had the ‘Grim Reaper’. I can’t be sure but the voice sounds very like Richard Burton.

Today in the west, people live with HIV, something not envisaged back in the 80s. But there are still places in the world where these life changing drugs are too expensive and unavailable.

I support the Terrence Higgins Trust who helps people with HIV and AIDS. This year they have their Stand Up, Stand Out campaign – raising awareness and vital funds for HIV prevention services. Also in the UK there is NAT – National Aids Trust who are dedicated to transforming society’s attitude to people living with HIV.

I will be wearing my red ribbon on Thursday with pride.