In the run up to World AIDS Day (1st December), The Rainbow Project, the largest support and advocacy organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people (LGB&T) and their families in Northern Ireland, will launch their campaign to combat the spread of HIV and the stigma associated with the infection.

Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Director of The Rainbow Project John O’Doherty said: ‘We are very happy to launch our World AIDS Day campaign for 2015. We want to encourage as many men who have sex with men (MSM) to get tested and know their status as well as challenging the stigma against people living with HIV which is still pervasive in our society.

‘Knowing your status is only 10 minutes away when you access a HIV test through The Rainbow Project and it’s in a safe, sex positive and non-judgemental environment where you can access the best sexual health information for men who have sex with men.

‘Getting tested and knowing your status is one of our four steps to challenge HIV and its stigma this year. We hope that people across Northern Ireland will engage with our campaign and help us empower people to know their status and to be confident in challenging the stigma associated with people living with HIV.’

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact on 028 9031 9030

James Copeland – Sexual Health Development Officer

Robyn Lardie – Relationships and Sexuality Education Officer

John O’Doherty – Director, The Rainbow Project

 

Four Steps to Challenge HIV for World AIDS Day 2015

  • Challenge yourself and others

Challenging the word ‘clean’ is very important. When an individual claims their sexual partner is ‘clean’ it insinuates that HIV+ people are unclean. This is untrue and reinforces stigma against those living with the virus. If you hear stigmatising words or phrases then stand up, challenge it and be the change you want to see.

  • Take the test

You can now know your status in 10 minutes with a HIV test at The Rainbow Project. Testing at The Rainbow Project is sex positive, non-judgemental, confidential and gay affirming and checks for HIV and Syphilis.

  • Share

Until 6th December The Rainbow Project will be sharing information and interesting facts about HIV. We would encourage others to share this and their own stories using the hashtag #takethetest

  • Go Red

Raise awareness of HIV by turning your social networks red and by wearing a red ribbon which you can access through The Rainbow Project.

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