Campaigning – National HIV Testing Week & World AIDS Day 2013
National HIV Testing week 22nd Nov – 29th November 2013
This is a European wide-campaign taking place in clinics and community settings. Here in the South West UK; there are quite a few extra activities happening to support the ‘It starts with me’ message.
The aim is:
1. To increase HIV testing amongst the most at risk groups;
2. Increase the acceptibility of HIV testing and
3. Increase HIV testing access in various settings.
Locally, we are promoting this amongst men who have sex with men using the ‘it starts with me’ campaign which is the national campaign run by HIV Prevention England and our local execution; ‘Keep calm and get tested’ . We are doing this in a range of ways – this includes running additional HIV training; engaging with every GP surgery in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay and sending National HIV Testing Week and World AIDS Day information.
We are also rolling out the ‘Keep calm and wear one’ campaign aimed at younger people. We often hear ‘HIV is not really talked about much anymore’ or worse still ‘HIV isn’t much of an issue for young people now is it?’ Not true! HIV transmission goes UP every year! There are more people living with HIV than ever before! We need everyone who knows about HIV to talk about it, reduce stigma and know the facts, not the myths about HIV…
Youth services and C-Card schemes are being encouraged to renew the HIV awareness messages and to be creative in their thinking about World AIDS Day. Testing for Chlamydia is as important as testing for other sexually transmitted infections – HIV can be transmitted to anyone. If you are passing on Chlamydia, you could be passing on HIV too.
Extra times are also being added to the usual clinic opening hours at The Centre, Exeter with HIV no questions tests being offered Mon-Fri from 5-6pm. Do stop off after work/ college or Uni and get that free test!
Also, have you seen our quickies? We are releasing a film a day Mon day 25th November - Friday 29th November about HIV. They are aimed at gay and bisexual men and are filmed in a location near you! Please check out our quickies page to see Matt, Paul and Justin in action!
We will be running the ‘Keep calm’ campaign across Plymouth, Devon, Somerset and Torbay. In addition, we will be offering HIV tests to men at risk in some community settings across the patch too – call for details on 08003283508.
If you haven’t had a test lately, or even considered one, think about it. It might save your life. Diagnosing HIV early can mean a long life, diagnosing late can cause serious complications.
World AIDS Day – Sunday 1st December
Every year, we remember those who have passed, we renew our committment to fight for the living and create hope, compassion, understanding and community.
World AIDS Day is a global event; a bit like HIV really. It doesn’t discriminate – HIV is not for gay and bisexual men, Africans, drug users – it is for everyone – male, female old, young straight or gay. HIV doesn’t care who you are.
This year, we are trying to balance what we do and encourage communities and individuals to make a difference with your own style.
Here is a short summary of some of the activities happening across the Peninsula (sincere apologies if we have missed any):
Saturday 30th November
Exeter: Cathedral are holding a short service in the chapel with Rev Sheila Swarbrick from 12 Noon.
Torbay: The Excellent Eddystone Brilliant Bake-off at Parkfield in Paignton!!! Organised by Healthwatch and the Youth Service, all young people from any where, any area are welcome – join in the fun, do some baking, improve your knowledge, meet some lovely people and get your cake face on for a great afternoon of fun! All afternoon. Call Karen Parker to book your place: 01803 698900
The Compass Inn (formerly the Swallow and G-spot) and friends are organising an 80s night in the evening.
Sunday 1st December
World AIDS Day is marked in many and varied ways. Whether through sensitive and sober remembrance or through laughing, dancing and song and dance – all is welcome! What can you do?
If nothing else, please wear your Ribbon and let us know – you can do this at http://www.redribbonpledge.co.uk. Send us a selfie of you and your Ribbon and we will pop you onto the page…
Town centre stall raising awareness and funds in the heart of Somerset. Near to Costa Coffee and promoting the Keep Calm and wear one campaign.
Plymouth Pride Forum; Pride in Plymouth and LGBT Soc will be holding a ‘Tower of Remembrance’. Leaving from Charles Seale-Hayne Library at Plymouth University from 3.30pm and going through the city to the civic centre for Samba with crooked tempo and onto smeatons tower for a candlelit walk to Smeatons Tower. For details call 07833 010712 Look out for the awesome soup!
Followed by a quiz at the Diamond Queen pub on Union Street; the theme for the Sunday Smoothie Session is World AIDS Day with funds being raised for Eddystone – many thanks again all. Event starting when the Tower of Remembrance is finished.
Exeter Pride – quiz from 7pm at The Oddfellows inn; another fundraiser for Eddystone, raising funds for our hardship fund. For details contact email@example.com