Think Pieces

I want more. A blog for World AIDS Day.

A blog for World AIDS Day - I want more!

By Claire Ebrey · November 22, 2022

I want more.

World AIDS Day on 1st December is a key date in the annual events calendar for everyone. It’s a day for reflection and hope, giving us the chance to wear our red ribbon with pride, and remember all those lost and show solidarity with everyone living with HIV today.

At George House Trust our vision is for a world where HIV holds no one back and we want to see people living with HIV happy, healthy and thriving.

As the Chief Executive of such an amazing organisation, I see first-hand the challenges faced by people living with HIV and the life-changing impact of what our team of staff and volunteers do. Just the other day I attended an event where a person couldn’t participate because of their own and their family’s fear of people finding out they’re living with HIV – someone else read out their story on their behalf.

We still have people arriving at our building for support requesting to come in the back entrance so they won’t be seen.

We recently learned of individuals having difficulty getting a tattoo in Manchester because they’re living with HIV.

This is on top of the one-to-one support, counselling, peer mentoring, group activities, advice, guidance, wellbeing support and connectivity we offered to over 2,600 people last year.

Every single day, people still face judgement, prejudice, stigma and discrimination because they’re living with a long-term condition. It’s not right – in fact it’s unacceptable. And for us as LGBTQ+ leaders, there’s lots done, but lots more to do.

Whilst there are challenges, the team at George House Trust work tirelessly to build confidence, increase awareness and help people to live well. Everything we do is focused on inspiring people living with HIV to live healthy and confident lives. We also work in partnership with amazing organisations such as LGBT Foundation, BHA for Equality, Survivors Manchester, Manchester Pride and The Proud Trust and many more, because we know that we can’t change all that we want to on our own.

There is a bold ambition through the national HIV Action Plan to end new cases of HIV by 2030. It’s both an ambitious and achievable goal, as long as the services, targeted support and communications and investment is available.

HIV isn’t an LGBTQ+ issue, it’s a long-term health condition that can affect anyone. People living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass on HIV during sex, more commonly known as Undetectable Equals Untransmittable or U=U. HIV has changed so much, but we’re still living with the impact of fear and shame.

To tackle the hard-baked attitudes, George House Trust’s Positive Speakers programme brings the lived experience of people living with HIV to life to challenge perceptions, improve understanding and educate.

Perhaps as a LGBTQ+ leader you could work with us by hosting a Positive Speaker session at work or ask us to deliver training for your teams or workforce? Do get in touch if you’d like to explore what we could do together.

The pernicious stigma and discrimination that impacts people living with HIV is omnipresent: at work; at home; in education; in health and in relationships. For me, I want to look beyond tolerance and amelioration. I’ve robbed a quote recently, ‘Stop admiring the problem and get on with addressing it’.

From LGBTQ+ leaders, I want more, I want us all to do more. I want us to raise our voice to tackle HIV stigma, to normalise HIV as a long-term manageable health condition, to work together and to make some noise too.

This World AIDS Day, please wear a red ribbon, do all you can to raise awareness and every day after, I want more.

Darren Knight, Chief Executive, George House Trust |

Please note – if you would like to use this blog on your company intranet or socials for World AIDS Day, then you may – we have permission from Darren for you to share far and wide. Please let us know that you’re doing it so we can have an idea of reach –