HIV - The Comeback Tour

All venues, Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond

HEALTH & RELATIONSHIPS

Remember that disease that was big in the 80s? You know - AIDS it was called - all over the telly at the time. They said it would be absolutely massive in the UK, but it never quite happened. You don’t hear much about it now. I wonder what happened? Perhaps it’s flipping burgers or cutting keys in some post-celebrity mall of shame somewhere . . .

Of course, HIV (the virus that can lead to AIDS) never went away, and since the late 90s, a persistent rise in the number of new infections has been reported across the globe. Scotland is no exception, and it’s led health workers in the Lothian region to launch a campaign to get men who have sex with men (gay, bisexual, experimenting, whatever) to talk about the phenomenon. HIV - The Comeback Tour is no exercise in finger-wagging about unsafe behaviour, however.

‘Many men have misconceptions about HIV and don’t think it’s as serious as it used to be,’ says James Falconer of Gay Men’s Health. ‘We want to encourage men to know their HIV status, and the only way to know is to get tested. Often, people think that having safer sex is simple, but sex is an incredibly complex, emotive thing. It’s situational, and differs depending on who you’re with, where you are and how you’re feeling.

‘This makes sexual decision-making highly complex. We are all capable of that one time when we might not use a condom - everyone is human - and that one time could be the time when you contract or transmit HIV. Knowing your HIV status is vitally important as it allows you to make informed decisions about your risk-taking behaviour.’

Visit www.hivcomebacktour.co.uk for more information. Get tested in Edinburgh at the GUM Clinic, 39 Lauriston Place, Mon-Fri 8-10am & Wed 5-6pm (no appointment necessary), or phone 0131 536 2103 for an appointment. In Glasgow, visit the GUM Clinic, 2-6 Sandyford Place, Mon-Fri 8.30-10am (no appointment necessary) or phone 0141 211 8600 for an appointment.

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