RAISE AWARENESS

ACTING AWARE HELPS ENSURE THAT EVERYONE AFFECTED BY HIV IS TREATED FAIRLY AND WITH UNDERSTANDING

THE PROBLEM

Knowledge of HIV is on the decline despite the fact there are more people living with HIV in the UK than ever before. There is still a great deal of stigma about HIV, often as a result of ignorance on how HIV is transmitted and what it's like to live with HIV.

"I WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO REALISE THAT HIV AND AIDS IS A PANDEMIC THAT CAN POTENTIALLY AFFECT EVERYONE AND IS NOT CONFINED TO THE GAY COMMUNITY AND DRUG USERS"
- SEAN

Why act aware?

Acting Aware means understanding the real facts about HIV and using that knowledge to inform your behaviour.

"I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOCIETY'S ATTITUDES CHANGE, SO I DON'T FEEL THAT I HAVE TO
HIDE THE FACT THAT I HAVE HIV"
- ALAN

Acting aware combats stigma

Stigma or prejudice about HIV in society means that people with HIV can find it difficult to tell others about their HIV status. Some have to deal with rejection from friends, family or colleagues, or even experience verbal and physical abuse. The fear of stigma can stop some people with HIV from telling others, getting a new job, or even finding a partner.

Acting aware helps protect yourself and others from
HIV infection

Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK, and one in five of those people don't know they have it. Worryingly, knowledge about HIV among the general public is low. Understanding how HIV is transmitted and knowing your HIV status is very important when it comes to protecting yourself and your partner.

"I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT HIV AND WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE WITH HIV - AND THEREFORE BE REALISTIC, AWARE AND PRACTICAL WHEN IT COMES TO SAFER SEX"
- MAURICE


Things you can do to raise awareness

  • Find out the facts and bust the myths about HIV
  • Use our risk calculator to find out if you've put yourself at risk of HIV
  • Talk to those around you about HIV, point them to this website and share anything new
    you learn about HIV
  • Organise a fundraising event to raise awareness of HIV in the UK
  • Always use a condom when having sex with a new partner
  • Join the virtual HIV Activists Network to fight with us for the rights of people affected by HIV
    and for better HIV education, prevention and testing
  • Join Press Gang, a virtual group of people living with HIV who challenge inaccurate and
    stigmatising stories about HIV in the UK media
  • Challenge people who hold misconceptions about HIV by telling them the facts and encouraging respect
  • Wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. Find out about
    ​the history of the red ribbon here
  • Find out if your local school teaches young people about HIV and explain why it's important
  • Be the first to find out what we're up to and what you can do by following us on Twitter and Instagram



People acting aware

WORLD AIDS DAY QUILT

Artist Lynn Setterington collaborated with the General Society of Microbiology, Manchester Metropolitan University, and local community groups to create a World AIDS Day quilt. The quilt which reads 'Respect and Protect' is made up of iconic red ribbons and took over one hundred volunteers six sessions to make.

STREET ART IN CARDIFF

Every day in December 2011, Beulah United Reformed Church in Cardiff put a door in the street to invite people to think about questions such as 'where are we going?' A red ribbon was pinned on the door to encourage people to be positive and face life with hope.

PROUD TO BE HIV AWARE

At London Pride 2014, NAT supporter Zarich Catlin-Hallett decorated her dog's lead with red ribbons and attached an eye-catching sign to his side, which she later added the web address for HIVAware.org.uk to.

PAINTING BLACKPOOL RED

For World AIDS Day 2013, Blackpool Tower blazed red throughout the whole of 1 December. Blackpool residents took photos of the Tower and shared them on social media.



KISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE

One hundred people from the LGBT community, of all ages and from all walks of life, featured in a photographic exhibition ‘Kissing without prejudice’ on World Aids Day. The photographs were taken by Elaine Stapleton and the images were projected onto buildings in the city centres of Manchester and Liverpool.