ARE WE COMMUNICATING ENOUGH?


Since the beginning of the epidemic, experience has demonstrated that significant advances in the response to HIV have been achieved when there is strong and committed leadership.

However, leaders are often not those in the highest offices. Leadership must be demonstrated at every level to get ahead of the disease – in families, in communities, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Much of the best leadership on HIV/AIDS has been demonstrated within civil society organisations challenging the status quo.

It's our mission is to ensure that this government and policy makers meet the targets they have agreed and mobilize the necessary resources required in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

SO AGAIN, ARE WE COMMUNICATING ENOUGH?

This is a question that constantly eludes us all, service users, patients, clients (whatever lable we choose to hold). People in the professional models of Health & Social Care like local authorities and health authorities feel they are doing all that they can with the funds allowed. But some people actually work for nothing in other sectors of our community.

For example the voluntary sector (now known today as the “Third Sector”). There are even groups of individuals who are trying to ensure that service users and carers are involved in all aspects of health and social care.

Health and social care affects each and every one of us and often people living with health and social care issues can often be misguided. For many years now (over 30 years) HIV has continually had much positive and negative media coverage and still people living with HIV are continually treated without respect or dignity.

People living with HIV are also not only suffering discrimination and stigma in our society, they are often informed wrongly that the services of which they seek are there to protect them – this is not often the case.

People living with HIV are people that are not allowed – people living with HIV becoming involved in services at the levels they desire from planning to delivery. Many people living with HIV are often portrayed as been vulnerable, well in many cases this could be deemed true, but some people living with HIV need to be involved in planning and service delivery to retain that dignity one often hears in the grapevine of professionalism.

WE NEED A VOICE – WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT CLEARLY ABOUT OUR NEEDS AND WE NEED TO BE UNITED WHEN WE DO IT. NO SEGREGATION – MORE INTEGRATION – NO TO EXCLUSION – MORE INCLUSION – NO TO ISOLATION – MORE SOCIAL INTERACTION…

WHO CONSTITUTION, 1946 – “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

People living with HIV have been the important catalysts for this to happen. We, as people living with HIV, have united from the beginning and fought for our rights. The right to live productive lives free of stigma and discrimination. Many people are not with us anymore to enjoy it, but people living with HIV have revolutionized the world. But there is one struggle standing at the cradle of all of these: the fight for people living with HIV to be involved in decisions that affect their lives.

And it is a struggle we are losing. People living with HIV have been instrumental in ensuring the amount of attention — and funding — AIDS is getting now. But in many cases, people living with HIV are not included in shaping that response. Increasingly people living with HIV are included in the process only as an afterthought. Evidence shows that the response to HIV is more efficient, less costly and more effective when people living with HIV are included in project development and decision making.

We, at the Greater Manchester & Beyond Coalition of People living with HIV and AIDS (GMBC), believe that HIV can be slowed down from the prevention perspective. HIV stops with us, therefore messages need to be much clearer with particular reference to “Safer Sex”. The use of condoms if correctly used can protect people living with and affected by HIV from other infections of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, etc.

Everyone is NEGATIVE until tested and we believe that people living with HIV should always ensure that they and other people continue to protect themselves from HIV and all other infections. With reference to treatment this is also about “rights, responsibilities and respect”. People living with HIV and AIDS need to acknowledge those simple rules and professional service providers must adhere to those simple rules. When treatment is required it must not be post-coded – people living with HIV have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Finally, the care of people living with HIV and AIDS is paramount to general health and well being (the whole person and person-centred approach). So again: No to Segregation – Yes to Integration. No to Social Exclusion – Yes to Social Inclusion. No to Isolation and Yes to More Social Interaction.

2 Comments
  1. kglanz40 10 years ago

    in this day and age you wouldn't think that we still live with any type of stigma-aids has been around for many years now and we have made so many strides in the years. I am here to tell you the stigma still exists! I don't know if it's because I live in a very small community or if people around here are in some type of weird denial, but the stigma is alive and kicking.  Everytime I am out in my community, I get the weird looks and the whispering.  Hopefully someday people will figure this out-we are no different than you are. 

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  2. pozman777 10 years ago

     I'm POZ  and I'm PROUD.

    I've stepped ABOVE average people, having been through pain, stigma, judgemental people, sort of racism, etcetera.. Now, when looking down, I can only see poor stupids who believe to be right and ignorants who believe to be blessed. A big part of them will reach the grave long before my time, due to devastating diseases of every kind,much worse than the supposed mine.

    so, please, enter the POZ ELITE,it will only do good to you, re consider yourself and the blessed Person you are,don't complain, but fight and win!

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