ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for June, 2009

All of a TWITTER!

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Not content with blogging and facebook I have now signed up to Twitter. The trouble is I haven’t really got a clue what it’s all about. Twitter is yet another social networking website and ‘tweets’ are apparently text based posts delivered to other users known as followers. I’m not sure whether I am comfortable with the term ‘follower’ or the thought that someone is following me as it smacks somewhat of stalking or being stalked. Stephen Fry is allegedly the celebrity with the most stalkers/followers, along with not surprisingly Britney Spears and also Barack Obama who used twitter as a publicity mechanism in the run up to the elections.

Twitter is defined as a succession of chirps or cheeps, as in that highly annoying and repitious song, ‘chirpy chirpy cheep cheep’ – although ‘chirpy cheep cheeps’ sounds more like a name for an Italian feesh and cheep shop.

Twittering is to talk in an excited or nervous manner as in he or she was all atwitter. A Twit on the other hand is an insignificant or bothersome person which says it all really so what does that now make me?

I know that tweetchers are nature lovers who like to observe the habits of Britain’s wildlife, at least that’s their excuse for loitering in the bushes spying on birds. If you are one of the lucky people who have found lasting love in your life, you will be familiar with the term tweetheart and also the famous song, ‘I’ll be your tweetheart if you will be mine.’ Finding a lifelong tweetheart, whether or not you are HIV positive, is not an easy task and it is reported that almost half of British marriages are set to end in court. One of the top tips for a lasting relationship and the first secret of success to a happy future as revealed on the Sky website was to ensure that you and your partner have matching road maps. I’m not sure what they mean exactly by matching road maps but if you’ve ever had the misfortune to act as navigator for your tweetheart and taken the wrong direction I can understand why. Perhaps there is a new kind of sat nav or Tom Tom on the market for relationships – “In four hundred yards take the left lane and exit this relationship.”

But of all the secrets of a lasting relationship according to Sky ‘niceness’ may be the most important. If you are nice to your partner they will be nice to you. Well I don’t know about you but being nice didn’t work for me. 

“Mr and Mrs be nice to each other.”

Unfortunately mine was one of those unfortunate British marriages that ended up in court

“Mr and Mrs  Decree nici to each other.”

One click on a website tends to lead directly to another and as I was twittering away to myself I came across this one – Are You Popular? By analysing my facial map they would apparently be able to tell me how popular I was. Was this like the relationship road map I wondered? Of course I had to have a go because thanks to twitter and the fact that I only have one stalker with the highly suspicious surname of somebody Dodge, I am now suffering a personality crisis.  I dutifully downloaded my photograph (the photo shopped one of course) and it came back with some very rude comments about putting a litter tray under my mouth and the fact that I had get out of my bed eyes. I now wish I hadn’t bothered. In fact I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t twittered in the first place and so are you probably after listening to me twittering on, so I’m off to bed to slip between the tweets and hopefully have tweet dreams.

Positively Girls Aloud!

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Positively Girls Aloud!

How many positive women does it take to change a light bulb? Unless you can think of an answer to the age old joke there isn’t one, but if you take out the words light and bulb, then ask, how many positive women does it take to change the UK’s attitude in regard to policies affecting HIV positive women, the answer is simple. The ever growing number of positive women who are members of POZ FEM UK the National Voice of Women Living with HIV who are totally committed to making a change especially in relation to stigma and how the UK views our role in society.

I have just returned from the northern regional coordinators meeting in Newcastle where I had the privilege to spend the weekend with this amazing group of brave and inspirational women. The bond that we share and the strength we derive from each other’s company and shared experiences is totally empowering and gives us the strength to carry on fighting the good fight. In between meetings we all go on living our separate lives but when we get together we are a force to be reckoned with and I for one feel very proud to be a member of such an inspirational group of women.

Newcastle is a city buzzing with life and I’ve never seen so many people out on a Saturday night intent on having a good time. Hordes of revellers thronged the busy streets, packs of men on the prowl, shivering groups of girls dressed in the latest fashions tottering on ridiculously high heeled shoes, stag parties dressed as nuns, hen parties resplendent in fluorescent pink fairy dresses. But everyone seemed happy enough. Maybe the Newcastle Brown had something to do with it. There was a lot of rowdy singing going on, although some of the songs contained lyrics that should not be issuing from the mouths of fairies or nuns.

“Oh I’ve got a great big willy, yes I have,” to the tune of, “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes.”

We’d heard from various sources that ‘Take That’ were supposed to be kicking off  their UK tour that night in the town, but no one could actually tell us where. Stories differed according to which taxi driver you asked and at one point it was ‘Girls Aloud’ and not ‘Take That’ who were supposed to be playing. It turned out that neither group in fact was playing but we did find a bar with a lively blues band where we danced the night away to ‘Hoochie Koochie Man’ and the likes. At one point everyone deserted the crowded bar and rushed out onto the street to witness the sight of hundreds of Chinese lanterns lighting the sky over the river Tyne. It was a beautiful sight to behold with the millennium bridge with its constantly changing colours as a backdrop. As I watched the lights disappearing on their journey to who knows where I thought about us as group of positive women determined to implement change and how when we left Newcastle we would be those shining lights spreading the message and fighting stigma. Although I had supped quite a few halves of Guinness by that time.

I’d received some good news before I’d left for Newcastle which I’d shared with the group as it exemplified the power we have if we do speak out and make our voices heard. At my local hospital they’d been hosting something called the Star Awards where selected members of staff could be nominated to receive Oscars, so some of us had written heartfelt testaments to the role our lovely health advisor had played over the years in supporting us as positive clients. Anyway, the result was that she was nominated for two awards and at the Gala Ball was presented not with one Oscar but with two.  

What does that mean exactly – well it means that firstly she had received the credit that she so justly deserved, but also it meant that people had listened to us and had taken our testaments as positive people to heart, so we too were the victors. This to me means that having a voice matters, that it does make a difference and that our actions will have a knock on effect by making other people view HIV in a different light.

Words matter, making your voice heard matters, stories matter and we matter although we tend to think when we are HIV positive that we don’t.

So let’s carry on being  ‘Girls Aloud’ and ‘Boys Aloud’ of course and continue to make our voices heard on behalf of all the positive women and men who because of stigma cannot speak out.

Talking of voices if you are wondering what has happened to Susan Boyle she has recently been sighted in the form of a vision on my sun lounger!

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