Published on November 16th, 2013 | by Ellen Thomas0
LGBTQ society backs World Aids Day
UAL is raising awareness about the ongoing dangers of contracting HIV and is assisting students in getting tested themselves, in the run-up to World Aids Day on December 1.
Supporting the Aids awareness campaign by UAL’s LGBTQ Society, charity Terrence Higgins Trust will be doing HIV and other STDs testings at Central Saint Martins on Wednesday, 27th November.
Filip Bigos, President of the LGBTQ Society, said that although UAL does not yet offer HIV testing, “it provides sex health advice, as well as condoms, so in case a student does get infected with HIV, appropriate measures will be put in place to help them with their studies without disclosing private information to tutors or anyone else.”
December 1 will mark the 25th annual World Aids Day. It has been held each year since 1988 and aims to promote Aids awareness, to raise money and improve education and above all help to fight prejudices. Even though there have been huge advances in medicine and treatments that are available to people living with HIV, many people are still uninformed about how to protect themselves effectively.
According to worldaidsday.org, there are around 100,000 people currently living with HIV in the UK, whereas 34 million people have the condition globally.
The week preceding World Aids Day is known as National HIV Testing Week and was first established in 2012 by the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Testing is readily available to everyone regardless of skin colour, gender or sexual orientation and can be done at any local sexual health clinic or walk-in centre, with some clinics such as the Jefferiss Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington offering free ‘rapid’ testing where results are available within three minutes.
One LCC student who wishes to remain anonymous spoke to ALN about her experience with getting tested at 56 Dean Street, a free NHS sexual health clinic: “Although there is a lot of pressure when you are waiting for your turn, in most cases you leave the place pretty relieved. I’d advise going with a friend, that’s what I did.”
Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive for Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “HIV is an entirely preventable condition, yet each year we see thousands more people across the UK receive this life-changing diagnosis. While there is still no cure and no vaccine, that doesn’t mean we need to accept its continuing march.”
Just like wearing a pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness Day or an orange one for those with leukaemia, you can also show your support for people living with HIV on World Aids Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.
Find more information on World Aids Day here.