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

 

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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