Not everything is red and blue

Enjoying a well-earned rest this afternoon after a hard week’s graft at the Labour party conference. Typically the weather in Manchester has transformed from brilliant sunshine to dull, grey skies – plus it’s freezing: I’m going to need to dig out my scarves soon and put away the summer coat!

Luckily I’ll be indoors for the next few days attending the Conservative party conference so won’t need to worry too much about the meteorological manifestations above the city’s skyline. It’s been a great experience talking to Labour MPs, councillors and delegates about HIV and sexual health this week and I’m looking forward to doing the same with the Tories, and I’m really intrigued to find out how we will be received.

A lot of people in Brighton developed a quintessentially British shyness when the S word got a mention, and a few couldn’t put condom and lube packs down quick enough once we told them what they were, but the vast majority of people engaged with us and had something good to say, and were really glad we’d increased their HIV knowledge! I do wonder if my generalised stereotype of a typical Tory will be reinforced or challenged this week, will more people give us a wide birth or will we notice no difference at all?

Politics shouldn’t come into the equation, ‘left/right’ shouldn’t matter. When it comes to HIV it’s simple, it can and does affect everyone, HIV doesn’t discriminate because of sex, sexuality, faith or religion, people living with HIV are CEOs and call centre workers, entrepreneurs and people reliant on the welfare system – not everything is red and blue.

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