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

 

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>


Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>



Howard Davis: Inside The King's Head - Girl in the Loft at BATS

Katherine Wyeth weaves together a dramatic tapestry of memory, identity, and legacy, exploring what it was like to grow up in the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK. More>>

Howard Davis: Fiddling While America Burns - Wellington's T-Bone Cut A Rug

Just a few days prior to the most significant US Presidential elections in decades, local denizens of Lower Hutt's Moera Hall were treated to a broad canvas of musical styles, including tinges of bluegrass, old-time, country, cajun, and zydeco influences. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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