On 10th October, four actors from Contact and BHA visited the Destitution Project (DP) to put on a play for DP service users and volunteers.
It focused on some of the problems of living with HIV. The aim of the performance, which was funded by Public Health Britain, was to give the audience an insight into daily life with the condition and to make it clear that people who have HIV can still live healthy lives if they diagnose early and are on effective medical treatment.
The production was based on interviews by the playwright Cheryl Martin with people living with HIV in Greater Manchester. It endeavoured to challenge some of the myths and misunderstanding around HIV. I, for example, knew you couldn't transmit the virus by casual social contact, such as sharing cutlery and crockery, but was not aware that it can only be passed on if the person living with HIV has a “detectable” viral load. Often someone living with diagnosed HIV and taking effective medication reaches a point where the virus is “undetectable” in the blood. This means they cannot pass the virus on to HIV-negative people.
The performance was excellent and well received by the audience.
(Sent in by John Pindar, DP Volunteer)
Our thanks go out to Contact, BHA and Public Health Britain!