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Manchester, UK Councillor Reveals HIV Status to Gay Pride Crowd

Manchester, UK Councillor Paul Fairweather revealed his HIV status to a crowd at the city's Pride celebrations, saying he hoped to end the stigma surrounding the disease.

Said Fairweather: Fairweather "We have to beat the stigma and the nonsense surrounding this. We can never put pressure on anybody to reveal their status – it's an incredibly individual, personal thing. And I cannot stand here tonight and talk about being HIV positive without [mentioning] the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues. Many of us have this love and support, but many of us don't. I and many other HIV positive gay men have experienced rejection and even hostility from within the gay community, as well as support.”

Fairweather later told the Manchester Evening News: "I made a planned and personal decision to make the announcement at the vigil and I have had an overwhelming response. I did it to challenge the stigma and the prejudice that still exists around this...I have the full support from my friends and family, but not everyone is so lucky. I have heard stories from people who have come out and their friends and family have abandoned them and some people have even lost their jobs. So I did this for them...Since the speech I have received such fabulous feedback, it's been overwhelming. I've had phone calls and texts from my friends and family, and even people I don't know.”

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Comments

  1. How is it that people are still getting this when we all know how it is transmitted?!?! Unless you are getting it from a blood transfusion, you are a complete idiot.

    And people get nasty when you indicate on your personal add "POZ need not apply"

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 1, 2009 2:39:39 PM


  2. Mike,

    You could very easily answer your own question by doing a little more research with an open mind to actually learn why people get HIV. Did you really just call every HIV positive person an idiot? Let's just hope you live your life completely risk free.

    Posted by: Matt | Sep 1, 2009 4:18:34 PM


  3. There's no excuse in catching HIV today, so don't look for my sympathy. You know better. One of my good friends is HIV+ through barebacking/drugs (and still does occasionally). No gay man is a hero for catching AIDS and then expects to be a martyr. Please.

    Posted by: nikko | Sep 1, 2009 11:57:20 PM


  4. NIKKO & MIKE —

    This was the tail event of a weeklong PRIDE rally.

    And you guys are endorsing SHAME —

    • on all the AIDS advocacy and groups,
    • the HIV testing projects
    • and the clients living HIV, who benefit from their support.

    Posted by: dan | Sep 2, 2009 8:48:31 AM


  5. Mike & Nikko you are both bigotted idiots. Ever hear the expression "accidents happen" ?
    Condoms are not 100% foolproof and transmission can occur orally.
    Nikko, don't flatter yourself, because no hiv positive individual would ever, I repeat ever, look to you for your sympathy, or anything else from you for that matter.
    Mike you are truly moronic given the screening done of the blood suppy these days, a transmission via transfusion is well nigh impossible.
    You both need to crawl back under your rocks and stay there.

    Posted by: jerry | Sep 2, 2009 11:25:53 AM


  6. Nikko, poz guys don't expect to be treated like heroes or martyrs. But we do expect to be treated like human beings who deserve the same basic respect and fairness as you do -- and sadly, we don't always get it.

    Posted by: Craig | Sep 2, 2009 2:16:55 PM


  7. Dan,I'm endorsing shame for very risky sexual behaviour (barebacking), so don't blow my statement out of context. And Jerry, bigoted I'm not. Wilfully engaging in very risky sexual behaviour
    and then expecting compassion?! Spare me the false sympathy and save it for those who get HIV by accident.

    Posted by: nikko | Sep 2, 2009 11:34:38 PM


  8. CRAIG, of course I treat any HIV + with respect and fairness (my friend Daniel) but I do get pissed about risky sexual behaviour.

    Posted by: nikko | Sep 2, 2009 11:38:54 PM


  9. Nikko, Craig and Jerry are right. Read your posts you do not treat peole with respect and you are a bigot. You make sweeping assumptions about the behavior of everyone with hiv that (1)are wrong; and (2) highly judgmental (my guess is that if you are an American you are a registered Repbulican). Then you fall back on the bigot's age old defense "some of my best friends are _________ "(fill in the blank with whatever group you are putting down)
    My guess would be you really have a field day slamming peole with cancer who may have gotten it from smoking, or maybe their diet or workplace, after all would still be their fault they worked there.
    You really are pathetic, I feel sorry for you and people like you, fortunatley you are in a minority. I hope you never find yourself in a position of needing decent treatment and run into someone like yourself.

    Posted by: nyrkr | Sep 3, 2009 7:28:07 AM


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