A new campaign sees 11 men share their experience of living with HIV.
HIV is: Just a Part of Me, a health awareness movement from Gilead, aims to educate people living with HIV on how to live a full and healthy life, rather than focusing on prevention as many campaign’s already do.
Young or old, newly diagnosed or living with HIV for years, it’s important to know how to take care of yourself, which is why there are eight key health areas highlighted, and details on how to find support on their website.
As part of the campaign, 11 men who “illustrate the diversity of age, social or ethnic background that HIV touches” were chosen to share their unique stories about their diagnosis and life with the virus.
Each of the men involved also had body art drawn on them to capture their journeys.
Marcos Fontaina, a 37-year-old from Spain who’s been living with HIV one year, explains: “I want this campaign to help people who are recently diagnosed see that you can live a long, happy and healthy life with HIV.
“If you take care of yourself then your future can be even brighter. HIV is just something that I have, not something that I am and I’d like others to feel the same.”
Bisi Alimi, a 42-year-old originally from Nigeria, now in the UK, who’s been living with HIV for 13 years, says: “If you care about how HIV affects your body, then you have to care about your kidneys.
“Raising awareness about kidney health is particularly important to me because it is more prevalent in both the African community and in people with HIV. I want this campaign to encourage people living with HIV to talk to their healthcare team and to understand their body better.”
Philip Baldwin, a 31-year-old from the UK who’s been living with HIV for eight years, says: “If we look after ourselves our HIV shouldn’t affect our life expectancy, which is a really powerful message that I want others to hear.
“I am now more aware of growing old with HIV and how my bone density could be impacted, which is why bone health is important to me.”
You can see all of the videos here.
To find out more about the HIV is: Just a Part of Me campaign, visit their website.