Subscribe to our RSS feed

Christian Dolan

Christian Dolan

Christian Dolan is a London, England based Digital Marketer with a passion for all things Content and Social. When not sitting at his desk working, he is an avid HIV activist who volunteers regularly for HIV charities by fundraising and offering his time and support in helping to break down HIV stigma. Christian is an active committee member for The National AIDS Trust (NAT) World AIDS Day campaign and has been HIV Positive since 2009. For enjoyment Christian is an avid TV marathon watcher as well a regular runner, cyclist and gym junkie which he regularly tweets an about under @Dolantalks

Mar09

Support people with HIV: stop the cuts!

Thursday, 09 March 2017 Written by // Christian Dolan Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Activism, Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Current Affairs, Upcoming Events, Health, International , Treatment, Opinion Pieces, Christian Dolan

The U. K.'s Christian Dolan: "There will always be those who will try to shut you down, but when you are fighting for what is right, when you are fighting for love, you do not give up."

Support people with HIV: stop the cuts!

After a lot of hard work and protesting by various organisations and individuals, with particular reference to that of the National AIDS Trust (NAT), the end of last year saw NHS England announced plans to fund PrEP for at least 10,000 people through a new trial. This of course is amazing news and worth all the hard work undertaken to get here by those involved.

That was not all, there was more amazing work happening. The work of Greg Owen, someone I have had the pleasure to meet personally, the man who stopped thousands of people being HIV positive. For those based overseas reading this, if you have not heard already, in the space of a 12-month period, the number of gay men being diagnosed with HIV in London dropped by 40%. Across England, it was down a third. This was, in my opinion, down to the extreme dedication and hard work of this individual.

At this stage, there is still no cure for HIV, so albeit the battle won, the war still goes on. Right now NHS England are looking to make cuts to HIV support services across the UK. HIV charities across the country have lobbied together alongside health professional bodies to launch a campaign to oppose to the cuts to HIV services across the country. The NAT are one of many charities backing this campaign in the hope to stop our government from cutting these necessary and critical services.

" I am angry as hell that someone at some point thought hold on a minute, let us cut funding to HIV support services, as we do not really need these services…because why the hell else would this be suggested? "

Recently, one of NAT’s amazing staff members called and invited me to come along to their Parliamentary launch at Westminster to launch their support services. The NAT are co-hosting this with the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS and they asked me to speak at this event, something that I am very honoured to accept. As a member of NAT’s advisory board, I do just that, I advise, I am no expert and have never claimed to be. However, this is huge. I am giving a personal account of how and why support services have been so vital to me. I would not be alive if it was not for the support services I was able to access, especially during the early stages post-diagnosis. So yeah, frankly, this is very fucking important for me.

I am sure I am not the only person speaking, however I am going to be addressing a bunch of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Peers to tell them why they need to back this campaign and ensure these cuts are not made. The way I see it, I will be playing a role in this campaign so I am excited, scared and angry all at once. Excited to be a part of this campaign and scared, as their vote may be swayed one way or the other from my words (or not, but you never know). I have not forgotten about angry, I just wanted to leave that to last. I am angry as hell that someone at some point thought hold on a minute, let us cut funding to HIV support services, as we do not really need these services…because why the hell else would this be suggested? The love I have for those within these support services is immeasurable.

I will let you know how we get on in Westminster in my next article at the end of this month, but will leave you with this, when we have a love for something or someone, we fight for it as hard as we can.

Motormouth Maybelle of the musical Hairspray once said, “Love is a gift; a lot of people don’t remember that. So, you {two} better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly, comin’ at you from a never-ending parade of stupid.” For those who have not seen Hairspray (have you been living under a rock?!), this quote was in reference to those in protest of interracial love in the 60’s, however I find that it can be used in terms of any form of love. There will always be those who will try to shut you down, but when you are fighting for what is right, when you are fighting for love, you do not give up. They supported me, now it is time I supported them.

MarketPlace