40 YEARS OF ACTIVISM AND CHANGE
It's been 40 years since the CDC (US Centre For Diseases Control and Prevention) first reported on a mystery illness affecting five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles and that marked the start of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In the early days it was referred to as GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) as it was assumed that this was an illness just affecting gay men and it was soon realised that HIV didn’t discriminate and could affect anyone. Since June 5th 1981, there have been 40 years of activism, challenge and change. HIV has changed. Living with HIV has changed.
Effective medication now means people living with HIV cannot pass HIV on to sexual partners - known as Undetectable = Untransmissable or U=U. There have also been revolutionary medical developments like PeP and PrEP which prevent HIV.
Whilst so much about HIV has changed for the better – one major challenge still exists and that’s the impact of stigma and discrimination which hasn’t kept pace with the medical advances. We firmly believe that HIV stigma is fuelled by the fear of HIV transmission so the U=U campaign is potentially one of the most powerful ways in which HIV stigma will be defeated.
Whilst new HIV diagnoses are reducing in the North West, at George House Trust, we continue to provide support to more and more people each year who are newly diagnosed or have been living with HIV for some time and our team of staff and volunteers support people to live with HIV healthily and confidently. You can find out more about our services and support here.
On this 40th year, everyone at George House Trust would like to thank everyone who’s made a difference and continues to make a difference to the lives of people living with HIV, all of the progress is down to the heroic efforts of many people and we’re grateful to every one of you, past, present and future.