We spoke to the Herts Advertiser last week about the unfolding Hollywood HIV story.
We feel it immensely unfair that Mr Sheen has been forced to disclose his status, no-one should have to do this, and certainly not in such a public way.
The hysteria and hype leading up to this event has, we feel, set back the fight against HIV Stigma considerably. Echoing days of the 1980’s with sensational headlines and alarmist commentary does nothing to help, and forcing people to publicly disclose their status creates fear and misunderstanding.
This is immensely frustrating and damaging we feel, we spend so much time trying to undo this sort of misinformation and hysteria about HIV.We are very grateful for the chance to air our views, we wish Mr Sheen the very best and hope that this furore fades soon.
Our fear is that more sensational headlines will appear, prompting more misunderstanding, such as those in the last few days where a co-star feels they have been at risk from kissing Mr Sheen, which is ridiculous in itself.
Handled correctly this could have been a very good way to illustrate that HIV can and does affect anyone. However the way it has been handled makes it look like it only happens to those who are irresponsible and careless. This couldn’t be further from the truth, most of those affected by HIV acquired the virus from someone who didn’t know they had it, it only takes one mistake, one misjudged moment. Who amongst us can say we have never made a mistake?
Here is a link to the article:
Anyone worried about HIV can get a free HIV testing kit from us by post or in person, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01727 842532 or call in during opening hours.
Support is available throughout, it is a completely confidential and free of charge, a simple test with no big needles you can do yourself, or onsite at the Crescent.
Free condoms are available from the Crescent either in person or by post, we wont ask any questions, you can just collect these from our site in Russell Avenue during opening hours (they are on a shelf in the entrance hallway) or we can post them to you, free of charge. Email info @thecrescent.org.uk or call 01727 842532 for postal services.
Condoms will protect you from a whole range of STI infections, not just HIV, and of course help prevent unplanned or unwanted pregnancies too. Protect you and those you love, use a condom always until you are sure of each other’s sexual health.
The Crescent Team