ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Flash Bang Wallop

After a month of absence I seem to be suffering from some sort of writer’s block. The task of writing about some of the awful things that happened during that time are too heavy to contemplate, so I will leave it to you to click on the link at the end of this blog, which will lead you directly to a news article where all will be revealed. The headline reads, ‘HIV Woman targeted by YOBS.’

The photograph of me is absolutely horrible. My only consolation is that hopefully no one will recognize me. I should really have known better than to let them photograph me. I did email them a photo but they said I had to be looking miserable in view of the seriousness of the subject matter. Fair enough, I thought, although I tried to argue that it would be far more empowering to people living with HIV and in respect of HIV related stigma to present a reasonably ‘glam’ image to defeat the myth that everyone with HIV is a down and out or on their last legs. The latter might well be true, but it’s not exactly encouraging for the newly diagnosed, is it – not to mention one’s personal pride. I know an awful lot of people in Blackburn.

The photographer spent exactly two minutes in setting up the shot – coat off – it’s freezing – sit there on cold stone wall – it’s damp will catch chill – walk along edge of canal – it’s too windy what about my hair – bit closer – might fall in.

Did photographer care? No! snap snap snap – “Sue Johnson from the Royal Family is at Hoghton Tower so I’m off, bye.”

 In total the shoot took less than five minutes.  Definitely a case of –


‘Old it, flash, bang, wallop, what a picture

What a picture, what a photograph

Poor old soul, blimey, what a joke

Hair blown up like a cloud of smoke

Clap ‘ands, stamp yer feet

Bangin’ on the big bass drum

What a picture, what a picture


Stick it in your fam’ly album

There were two articles in the paper that ran on subsequent days. After the shock of seeing my photo i.e. wrinkled old woman with fly away grey hair and an umbrella mouth (was that really me?) I did text the reporter to ask him if they’d use a better one for the next day. He promised he would, but of course he lied. That’s what happens with the paparazzi – all they want is your story and they couldn’t care less about anything else. I now know how those footballers wives feel, not to mention members of the Royal family (aside from the sitcom) and talking of which, how could a story about a bloody actress be more important than highlighting issues to do with HIV?

What we need is a positive star or member of the nobility (a star or a wag or an X Factor winner would probably be better in this day and age) to act as a representative in order to make politicians and the general public sit up and take notice. Because I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – HIV can and does affect and infect anyone.

A huge thanks to the staff at Blackburn Royal Hospital GUM clinic for the beautiful flowers delivered by hand after reading the article in the paper. (featured above). And to the two have to remain anonymous members of Thrivine who also sent me flowers and the two dearest of friends who took me to Southport flower show to cheer me up.

And as for the article I’ll….

Stick it in my fam’ly

Stick it in my fam’ly

Stick it in my fam’ly


1 Comment»

  Jennie wrote @

I was so shocked to read this Adrienne, i can only imagine how you must be feeling right now and i hope that you are feeling better soon, you have to know that you are an inspiration to many positive people out there, the work you do to support people with HIV is amazing, you have made such a difference to my life and many more peoples lives too.

Take Care
Love Jennie x

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