ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Aint No Stopping Me Now – Mexican Diary

Even though was looking rough and wrinkled from lack of sleep and too many margaritas the night before, had my photo taken for Bruno Spire’s of the French campaign AIDES – Reject Aids not HIV-Positive Persons. The objective of this campaign is, ‘to remind the general public that HIV positive persons are still suffering stigmatisation and discrimination and to raise the general public’s awareness in order to spark reflection and, eventually, encourage a change in attitude towards diseased persons.’

Not too sure I like the term ‘diseased persons,’ but suppose you have to call a spade a spade. Not sure either what the word for spade is in French, but the Spanish word is espada, which sounds more like a man’s aftershave or a designer range of clothes.

The call an espada an espada campaign is centred on advertisements presenting portraits of VIPs (mainly French it has to be said) from the worlds of music, sports or TV with the odd touch of royal blood as in Her Royal Highness Crown Princess of Norway thrown in for good measure – and now me of course, the blog queen of hivonia, which sounds a bit messy, rather like my hairstyle, although I am sure the celebs for their portraits had their famous locks especially styled and their wrinkles airbrushed out, whilst mine remain in all their glory, until I can convince my doc, for psychological reasons, to let me undergo a course of ‘newfill’, which is a kind of botox for positive people to repair the fat wasting effects of lipodostrophy.

The involvement of these high profile celebs and lesser known non French activists like myself, is aimed at stressing the absurdity of the discrimination HIV positive persons are facing and to make the general public think about situations of avoidance, rejection or stigmatisation. It would be a good idea in order to reduce stigma and in an attempt to stop AIDS, if someone started the same kind of campaign here. I could do it, as there cetainly aint no stopping me now in my new found, as opposed to newfill, role as an activist.

There aint no stopping ADES – in both senses and both spellings of the word, unless we all become more aware of the dangers and to get on my bandwagon, more people get tested.

The whole of Mexico seems to be getting in on the HIV/AIDS act – the shops, the bars, the hotels, which are using AIDS in their promotion, such as ‘Hotels Atendiendo el Sida’ and many people are sporting the red ribbon, even the waiters in the restaurant we ate at tonight. On their menu there were even facts and helpful information laid out amongst the tacos and enchiladas to help diners avoid ‘catching’ AIDS. For example –

“Did you know that the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV produce an infection in the human bean that could promote AIDS.”

No need to worry however back home in England if you are a human bean lover, I think you are still perfectly safe with your can of Heinz or Cross and Blackwell, but not too sure about the Mexican version we were about to eat, which had been deep fried – on more than one occasion I fear.

“The HIV virus is not stransmitted trough shake of hand, hug, kiss or for sharing workspaces and is not transmitted trough mosquito bite. No from food.”

Well, they had to put that didn’t they, being a restaurant and a crap one at that. We’d had to settle for the only restaurant in Mexico City that wasn’t full of other knackered and ravenous delegates.

“The stigma and discrimination to people living with HIV impacts negatively in their health, perhaps of violet their human rights.”

I don’t know about poor Violet, but I think it will be more a case of the refried beans reacting negatively, at least on my health tommorrow. Never mind waterloo, it will be portaloo here I come and definitely a case of aint no stopping me now.

To find out more about the portrait campaign visit – http://www.aides.org

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