World AIDS Day coming soon: December 1st, 2022

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK over 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

Gay French Minister tries to visit Poland’s “LGBTQ free” zones

Hungary, Russia, China, Turkey, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Poland (etc) what do all these countries have in common? They’re all authoritarian states (or at least operate that way) with limited civil rights, with LGBTQ+ rights especially. Rights and protections for LGBTQ+ people are either non existent (and trying to be won) or are constantly in danger of being taken away. Out of all these countries, Poland is notorious for its so called LGBTQ+ free zones.

So much so, that openly gay Clément Beaune, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, has attempted to visit these zones. Unsurprisingly, he was denied entry, with authorities saying it was due to health concerns. Thankfully, for every evil, there is good. Poland’s deplorable zones has prompted the EU to declare its entirety as a LGBTQ+ Freedom Zone. The EU may not be perfect (that’s a trait any democratic government), but it certainly does care about human and civil rights.