News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Celebrated US HIV activist coming to New Zealand


Bruce Richman, the founder of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) movement is heading to Aotearoa next week for a series of keynote speaking engagements about the realities of HIV.

With Bruce at the helm, U=U is standing up for the rights of people living with HIV, fighting stigma which all contribute to decreasing transmissions.

The U=U movement conveys that if someone living with HIV has maintained an undetectable viral for more than six months, HIV is not passed on through sex, even if condoms or PrEP aren’t used. An undetectable viral load is when the amount of HIV in a person’s body is no longer at detectable levels by a standard viral load test.

"When I learnt that U=U, it changed my life because so many of us who live with HIV could never imagine a time when we could love, when we could have sex or have babies without fear - and that fear has been present in the most intimate moments of our lives," says Bruce.

"I was elated but I was also outraged because people weren’t being told. I had been alone for nine years because I didn’t want to pass on HIV to someone I loved. When I was diagnosed I knew I would live but I didn’t want to live because I felt like I couldn’t love anyone without the fear of passing this disease on."

After being fed up with the stigma for so long, Bruce started the U=U movement. Now, he travels the world inspiring people living with HIV, MSM and other at-risk communities to help spread the message.

He has come up against resistance, even having been called "a danger to gay men’s holistic health", despite his assertion that he is helping people living with HIV to have healthy sexual and reproductive lives, free of fear and shame.

"We teach a lot about messaging because it’s so important to get it across accurately.

"We can’t leave the window open by using terms like an undetectable viral load ‘reduces risk’ or there’s ‘extremely low risk’ or allow people to say that people should still use a condom or PrEP just in case, because all these phrases still mean you’re dangerous. Instead we can use phrases like ‘zero risk’ and ‘won’t transmit’ - we really can use them now because the greatest minds in the field are saying it," says Bruce.

U=U is an international consensus statement, signed and supported by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Body Positive, Positive Women and INA Foundation. Top medical journal The Lancet named the U=U statement as "the most important message of 2017 in the fight against HIV."

There are around 3,500 people living with HIV in New Zealand whose lives will be positively impacted by the U=U message.

Bruce will be available for interviews. If reporters would like to attend any of the events below, they are very welcome.

The U=U Tour

Wellington - November 1st from 5.30pm Te Kāhui Auaha, 65 Dixon St - https://www.facebook.com/events/1921745664560076/

Auckland - November 2nd from 5.30pm Ellen Melville Centre, Freyberg Place - https://www.facebook.com/events/2138826936384644/

Christchurch - November 3rd from 5.30pm Great Hall: Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Boulevard - https://www.facebook.com/events/290076688387932/

Free entry

Free HIV testing will be available.

The panel of speakers will also include:

Nic Holas - the co-founder of The Institute of Many, an Australian grassroots movement for people living with HIV

Jason Myers - Chief Executive, NZAF

Marama Mullen-Tamati MNZM - Kaiwhakahaere of INA Foundation

HIV+ speakers, thanks to Positive Speakers Bureau

The U=U tour aims to significantly reduce HIV stigma, as well as fears that HIV negative people have about having sex with someone who is HIV positive.

The U=U tour is brought to New Zealand in collaboration with Dynamix International - info@purchase-prep.com

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

2021: NZ To Host Women’s Rugby World Cup

New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will raise the profile of the game locally and provide a valuable economic boost for the game, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke Review: Mahler 7 - NZSO

Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony may be one of the least well-known of its ilk, but Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made a compelling case for a reassessment. They showed us a work of immense variety, surprising contrast and delicate shades of light and dark. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Strange Overtones - David Byrne's American Utopia Tour

Scotch-born singer-songwriter David Byrne starts each show on his latest world tour stroking a pink brain as he sits alone at a table in a gray three-button Kenzo suit singing a song called Here from his latest album American Utopia. More>>

Governor-General's Speech: Armistice Day 100 Years On

The response was more muted amongst our soldiers at the Front. Many received the news quietly... There was no cheering. The chaps didn’t get excited. It was just a matter of relief. We didn’t celebrate at all. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Fringe Programme: A Celebration Of The Bizarre And Beautiful

Building on a huge 2018 programme that saw 492 creatives take 81 events for ventures around the city for a total of 347 performances, Auckland Fringe returns this summer, running February 19 – March 3, 2019. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland