Media and print interviews
The State of the Nation report published by Terrence Higgins Trust and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) in February 2020 found there’s a new STI diagnosis every 70 seconds in the England. I spoke to Claudia-Liza Armah about the report and the need for a meaningful , cost funded sexual health strategy in the UK with clear targets.
Gareth Thomas shares his HIV status
In September 2019 Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas was forced to reveal his HIV status to the nation. On the morning he took on the Iron Man challenge to show the world that HIV doesn’t have to limit your life, I spoke to BBC Breakfast, BBC News and Sky News about what it means to have a new role model speak out for the HIV community.
Just days later Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness also revealed he was living with HIV. I spoke to Reuters about how the impact of celebrities sharing their status has on HIV-related stigma.
Can’t Pass It On – Summer 2019
Terrence Higgins Trust published the results of a new survey, released on the anniversary of Terry Higgins’ death in 1982, showing that attitudes around HIV remain stuck in the 1980s reporting that ‘almost half of Brits would feel uncomfortable kissing someone with HIV‘.
I hopped onto the red sofa to explain to BBC Breakfast viewers what the Can’t Pass It On campaign is all about.
I also spoke to Gay Star News who took a look a closer look at the survey results from LGBT people about my dating experiences as someone living with HIV
The Lancet publication of the final PARTNER results
The PARTNER2 study was initiated to provide precise estimates of transmission risk in gay serodifferent partnerships. Until the release of this study the level of evidence available compared to heterosexual couples was limited. Media uptake of the publication of these results in The Lancet in early May 2019 came as a surprise with the study findings not perceived as ‘new’ news within the HIV community.
I spoke to a number of different media outlets upon the publication of the results. It is important to note that due to the publication focusing on the results released about male gay couples the media narrative was heavily focused on this group of people. All people living with HIV on effective treatment can’t pass it on to sexual partners, no matter their sexuality or gender identity.
The Guardian featured the story on their front page on Friday 3 May 2019 and I spoke to them about my personal experiences with HIV.
Sky News spoke to me about the personal impact these study results have on people living with HIV as individuals navigating sexual relationships, as well as the potential to utilise the information to address myths and misconceptions around HIV.
Following the news from CROI 2019 that a man in London was in long-term HIV remission following a stem cell transplant I spoke to Sky News to clarify why this wasn’t a ‘cure’ for people living with HIV but a positive small step on a very long journey towards one, meaning progress in the area of gene therapy could be explored further.
At the start of 2019 the Health Secretary announced that the UK would aim for zero HIV transmissions by 2030. I spoke to ITV News about what this means for people living with HIV.
Tackling AIDS in the age of Instagram
I spoke to ITV News ahead of World AIDS Day 2018. Their 10pm bulletin lead with the story that the UK had reached UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. It was a great opportunity to bust some myths by talking about the effectiveness of treatment in a report watched by millions.
What everyone should know about taking an HIV test
In August 2018 high street pharmacy Superdrug announced they would be the first retailer to stock HIV self-tests in the UK. I spoke to the BBC about the impact this would have on normalising testing.
With the 22nd International AIDS Conference under in Amsterdam in July 2018 I spoke to Turkish public broadcast service TRT World about the need to keep HIV on the world’s agenda.
I’m Completely Open About Having HIV – But Not On Grindr
I spoke about my experiences of talking about my status for the first time, and how being undetectable made that much easier.
Celebrating a Century Of Sexual Health Care In The UK
I worked with BASHH on this film looking at a remarkable 100 years of sexual health care in the UK.
I spoke to Sky News about the news that people living with HIV can expect to live a ‘near normal’ life expectancy and also used to opportunity to talk about how people like me with an undetectable viral load can’t pass on the virus.
New research suggests people living with HIV diagnosed in their 20s will live a “near normal” life expectancy, thanks to modern treatments [Video].
National HIV Testing Week 2016
What happens when you find out you have HIV after a test? I spoke to Metro about my own experience.
I had a chat with VICE and answered ’10 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask a Person Who Is HIV Positive’
The article was also translated for their Mexican site into Spanish here.
El artículo también fue traducido para su sitio web mexicano en Español ‘Diez preguntas que siempre quisiste hacerle a alguien con VIH’
I appeared on Global with Jon Sopel to talk about the prospect of an HIV cure and the realities of living with HIV in 2016.
Opinion piece ‘A turning point for HIV stigma?‘ for Gay Times following the announcement of the final PARTNER study results and Prince Harry’s HIV test
BBC News at Six
As part of BBC coverage of Prince Harry’s HIV test I spoke to their News at Six program about my own experiences of living with HIV. (Video no longer available)
NHS Voices blog
Collaborative piece with NAT’s Susan Cole
I spoke with ITV News about Terrence Higgins Trust’s #StopStigma campaign on World AIDS Day 2015
My piece regarding Stigma which was the focus of Terrence Higgins Trust’s World AIDS Day 2015 campaign (NSFW!)
5 News Interview
I spoke to 5’s Matt Barbet following Charlie Sheen’s interview with Today about his HIV status – talking about stigma and what it means to be “undetectable”.
Positive Lite Column
Canada’s online HIV magazine are running a selection of my blogs
Stonewall’s Starting Out: Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Careers Guide 2014/15
I talked to Stonewall about working as a gay and HIV positive man and feature as a role model in their Consumer Goods and Retail section
Feature in Co-op’s “Living our purpose” stories
My activism work is featured with many other stories highlighting how colleagues from around The Co-op are doing their bit to bring the Co-op purpose to life, making a real co-operative difference in our communities
Positive Lite re-blog ‘LTR’
Canada’s Online HIV Magazine re-blog my recent post about living with HIV for almost 5 years
aidsmap “Your Next Steps” booklet for newly diagnosed
I helped review this booklet designed for anyone newly diagnosed with HIV, it’s a great resource for anyone who has questions after learning they have contracted the virus
BBC Newsbeat Story and Radio 1 Feature
During May and June 2014 the MAC AIDS Fund surveyed around 1,000 12-17 year olds in the UK about HIV and sexual health. The results were startling, with a third wrongly thinking they couldn’t catch HIV through unprotected sex and almost 90% believing they weren’t at risk from HIV in their entire lifetime.
I met up with Newsbeat at a school in London, the result was a feature in their news bulletin and the story below:
Personal Activism Slides
My slides from the Personal Activism session I facilitated at a recent THT Activism and Involvement Workshop in Manchester 07.06.14
QuaysNews “Understanding HIV: Special Report”
I feature in this special report detailing how despite advances n HIV the issue of stigma is still a big issue for people living with the virus to deal with. The report features ‘Rob’ a HIV positive teacher who keeps his status purivate due to his job and Dr Margaret Kingston from the Hathersage Centre in Manchester.
The report can be found here.
“HIV & Salford” – A Community Project with Gaydio
I spent time in February 2014 working with 11 other Salford residents and students at Gaydio’s Radio Station in Manchester putting together a radio show about HIV in our city, the project was funded by Salford City Council and co-ordinated by Gaydio Breakfast Co-Presenter Emma Goswell!
My Diagnosis and the Future – Blog for Beyond Positive
I talk about my diagnosis in November 2009, my focus since that day and my resolve to achieve anything in the future that I want.
‘Emmerdale’ blog post quoted in The Telegraph
Dr Brooke Magnanti, (formerly known as Belle de Jour of The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl fame) writes about the HIV storyline in Emmerdale and quotes my post on the subject.
The article is here.
Dr Thomas Mukasa Interviews me with Regards to My life with HIV
Dr Thomas asked me if I would assist in his new HIV awareness project by participating in an interview with him, I answer his questions on many aspects of living with the virus.
Tom Mukasa has worked for over 15 years with marginalized people living with HIV/Aids/TB in Africa and now lives in the USA.
The interview can be found here.
My Diagnosis post on new HIV+ website ‘Positive Wise’
My initial journey discovering I was HIV positive on a new website run and written by PLWHIV for PLWHIV.
Feature in Metro Newspaper (UK) for World AIDS Day
I was interviewed by Vicki-Marie Cossar as part of an article about HIV in the lead up to World AIDS Day 2013, discussing living with the virus and why I am supporting THT’s ‘Ask Me about HIV’ campaign which launches 01.12.2013!
I used an old essay to write an original piece about the origins of the virus, the global impact and what we all need to do to combat HIV now and in the future. The title is a quote from the inspirational Helen Keller.
Rise Above HIV Campaign
I’ve just submitted my photo to a great new campaign aiming to fight against the stigma people living with HIV face everyday. If you want to join the campaign take a look at the link below.
The Co-operative Respect LGBT Network
I feature in the Respect Newsletter, issues 15, 17, 23, 25 and 26.
Saving Lives UK Update
In addition to ‘My Story’ I will now be blogging on the site, I will be posting entries that already compliment my own blog and focus on topical areas that support the organisations mission to reduce prejudice and promote testing.
Rise Up to HIV
I’ve taken part in this Global HIV Anti-Stigma campaign, please check out the links to the photos of other people who are also Rising up to HIV!
Chartist Magazine Article January/February 2013 Edition
My article focused on what action I believe the government needs to take in order to assist people living with HIV.
The following is the text from the Article:
92% of those receiving HIV specialist care live in England, but the last national strategy for the prevention of HIV expired two years ago in 2010. Under the latest guidelines the government now believes that local authorities should have responsibility for the delivery and funding of HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men. Without a national strategy the government avoids being held to account in its commitment to deal with the issues surrounding HIV. The past ten years have seen a focus deliberately targeting high risk groups rather than the public as a whole and this doesn’t seem to be working: whilst the numbers of men who have sex with men getting tested has increased so too has the number receiving HIV care.
HIV policy should not stop at prevention and treatment. There is still a lot to be done to bring HIV back into the public eye as it was in the Eighties. Millions was spent educating the public on HIV/ AIDS but funds pledged by governments since have reduced dramatically and stigma, fear and ignorance surrounding HIV still remain imbedded in our society.
A national strategy should incorporate all aspects of life with HIV. There is a need to build upon existing frameworks to ensure that HIV positive people have a right to good support after testing, availability of good treatment and a look to our future: it is essential to put measures in place to support those who are growing older with HIV and those who require social care. Sex and Relationship education must be a priority in schools as the levels of STIs continue to increase in young adults.
It should not be left in the hands of the HIV community and the charities that support them to fight for a better future for those living with HIV. The government has an obligation to draft and endorse a new clear national strategy with a clear mandate to protect and facilitate the growing number of HIV positive people in the UK.
Saving Lives UK: Positive People – My Story
My Positive People story on Saving Lives UK website, they’re a great organisation with a mission to make sure more people get tested for HIV.
Gaydio Radio Interview 26.11.12
I speak to Gaydio Radio about living with HIV and the importance of testing as part of National HIV Testing Week.