ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

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!

susan boyle 4 (2)

1 Comment»

  Jennie wrote @

really plaesed to hear that janet got two well deserved awards thats fantastic news, what a result! x

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