19 years with HIV

Today is 19 years we are together. This is also the year I turn fifty. My life has been defined by you, there is no denying it. You have pushed me in so many directions. The highest and the lowest. I never felt so lonely and damaged like today 19 years ago. But today you connect me to an amazing community of people that in spite of fear, suffering, illness and stigma, have risen, resisted and flourished.


World AIDS Day and poverty in the UK

However for many of us who work supporting people with HIV, what has been in sight in past few years has been the destitution, and abject poverty so many people we support are facing. Working at Positively UK, day in and day out we see so many more homeless people, people with no recourse to public funds, people who struggle to access basic public benefits.

How bright is the future for those living with HIV in the UK?

We are now in the fourth decade of the HIV epidemic: giant advancements in medical treatment mean that people living with the virus, like myself, can expect to live to old age if we have access to treatment, support and care, and we are treated with dignity and respect. I would have never imagined this to be possible when I was diagnosed in the late 90’s, a few days before my 30th birthday. As much as I rejoice that I will soon be turning 50, I still cannot say that the future is bright for myself and the other 107,000 people estimated to be living with HIV in the UK.