Ahead of World Aids Day this week, these guys are taking on HIV stigma.
A year ago, GMFA and FS Magazine brought together a group of HIV-positive guys to talk about the mean messages they receive on dating apps in an attempt to tackle stereotypes and myths about the virus head on.
Now, the gay men’s health charity have caught up with the stars of the video, which has reached almost 150,000 views, to find out how coming out as HIV-positive in such a public way has impacted their lives.
The mini-documentary features interviews with Sadiq, David, Adam and Ruaidhri from the original video, whose honesty and openness has educated viewers and led to others being able to speak out about their status.
GMFA’s interim CEO Ian Howley said: “Not only have the men who feature in this video changed their lives for the better, the impact they have had on gay and bisexual men is immense. These men stood in front of a camera, talked about living with HIV and made a huge difference.
“However, saying all that, looking at some of the comments left on the YouTube videos you can see we still have a long way to go. We need to stand up to the ignorance and shaming.
“Education is the key to eradication and if these men prove one thing, it’s the power of just being yourself can make a difference. There is nothing shameful about living with HIV and positive role models prove it.
“HIV is not going to be defeated if we become afraid of it and those who are living with it. We will defeat new HIV infections if we as a community stop shaming each other, come together and work towards supporting each other to stop stigmatising those living with HIV.”
Watch the new video below.
For more information about HIV and World AIDS Day visit gmfa.org.uk