First HIV Radio Show Set To Launch In Britain To ‘Challenge Stigma’

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It’s estimated that more than 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK, yet we still shy away from talking about it.  That’s about to change thanks to a new radio show about HIV, which is determined to end stigma.

The show, titled HIV Happy Hour, will run weekly on Radio Reverb, a Brighton-based local station, from 1 October.  The magazine-style programme is the brainchild of author and HIV activist Paul Thorn, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1990.

“The main aim of the show is to challenge some of the negative thinking that many people living with HIV hold about themselves.  There is no reason why anyone living with HIV should be ashamed or feel bad about having the virus. I want this show to be one of the tools to help change that.”

Thorn describes the show as “a programme by and for people with HIV”.

The light-hearted name HIV Happy Hour aims to show that living with HIV doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – people can be happy living with HIV.

The 60-minute programme will be a lifestyle-based show covering a wide range of topics.  It will be cover health, wealth, happiness, relationships, and lots of tips from experts for getting on with and making the most of the second chance at life afforded to people living with the virus by treatment”.

“There will be some more serious subjects covered also, for example hepatitis co-infection, tuberculosis, and hopefully some surprise celebrity guests also.  More important is that the show is a platform for people living with the virus, they will be playing a major role in output and direction of the show.

A pilot episode of HIV Happy Hour included an interview with the head of a care facility for people with HIV and tips for HIV-positive listeners to set up their own business.  Thorn hopes this wide range of topics will help ‘normalise’ HIV, so people living with it feel more able to speak about their experiences and seek the help they need.

HIV Happy Hour will air on Radio Reverb (97.2FM) every Thursday at 7pm from 1 October.

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