Youth Stop AIDS: the 2018 speaker tour comes to Edinburgh University
Youth Stop AIDS hosted the Edinburgh, Scotland leg of their marathon 2018 speaker tour. The event is primarily one of storytelling, with three young people living with HIV recounting their experiences – from diagnosis, to crisis, to reclaiming their lives.
Michael, from Glasgow, emphasised the dangers of ignorance, but also highlighted the power of information. Growing up in a time during which incredible fear and stigma was attached to HIV, he viewed his diagnosis as a death sentence.
He spoke of the terror that lies and exaggerations on the internet instilled in him, and how he was minutes away from suicide before he stumbled across a key word: ‘undetectable’. Being undetectable means that, although you still have HIV, you can no longer pass it on to anyone, even through engaging in unprotected sex. Developments in medication for HIV means that this is now a possibility for many, but large amounts of people still remain unaware of it.