HIV activism: ‘It feels more like social work than my day job in adult services’

LASS

4039 Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Story by Nathan Fox, via The Guardian
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I want people with HIV to live free from oppression, & for the NHS and social services to become HIV-neutral in their activities

I was diagnosed with HIV in 1994, a time of moral panic about the condition. The stigma I had internalised about HIV, combined with that of sex and sexuality, made me to hide the diagnosis from family and friends for six years. Consequently, and despite physically managing the condition well with antiretroviral medications, I have battled with depression since. While in mental health recovery, I realised I wanted to work in a helping profession and qualified as a social worker in 2010.

I won’t be the first person from a disadvantaged group who has been motivated to do social work. But having worked in a range of adult health settings since qualifying, it has failed to satisfy me…

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