Tag Archives: bbc

The Truth About HIV

WATCH: Thursday BBC1 at 9pm

HIV has claimed around 35 million lives worldwide. But now, as Dr Chris van Tulleken reveals, cutting-edge science can keep the virus at bay or even prevent infection altogether. As a new preventative treatment called PrEP is rolled out on the NHS in Scotland, and new trials are announced in England and Wales, HIV is under control, in Britain at least, but only when it can be detected and the treatment with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) can begin.

Chris meets a woman whose husband died without ever knowing he had the condition, by which time he had infected her too. But Chris also finds out how ‘viral loads’ can now be reduced to allow patients to lead healthy lives – and even prevent them infecting anyone else.

Chris meets HRH Prince Harry for an interview at the Mildmay Hospital, an HIV hospital made famous by Diana, Princess of Wales, where Chris also meets a patient whose undetected HIV led to serious brain damage.

Prince Harry visited LASS in March this year, during his visit he took time to reflect on the changes for people living with HIV and unveiled a plaque marking the start of LASS’s 30th year. He was able to look at the history of LASS and viewed the panels that were launched by Princess Diana when she visited LASS in 1991.

HRH Prince Harry unveils a unveiled a plaque marking the start of LASS’s 30th year. With Evernice Tirivanhu, Jenny Hand & David Rowlands

Partner organisations joined LASS in a training session led by Juliet Kisob and Sadiya Mohamed.  They looked at the role of community HIV testing in encouraging people to know their HIV status and to help reduce late diagnosis.  They were joined by Prince Harry for workshops where they used a case study to look at how critical partnerships are to breaking down stigma and to identify new places for LASS to test in our 30th year. In Leicester 59% of patients are diagnosed late, which is 20% higher than the national average.

In the BBC documentary, airing on Thursday evening,  Dr van Tulleken visits a clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where tens of thousands are still dying with seven out of ten of people infected worldwide living in sub-Saharan Africa,

He meets an schoolgirl living with HIV and realises that local attitudes to testing are still leading to unnecessary deaths. But Chris also meets clinicians taking mass testing out to the villages and meets a man whose life was saved as a result.

Back in the UK, talk of a cure may be premature, but Chris finds out more about the controversy around the rollout of PrEP which, when taken daily, can prevent someone becoming infected in the first place.

Why Take a HIV Test?

Some people think taking a HIV testing is scary, but honestly it shouldn’t be. The condition is entirely manageable.  If you test positive, early detection, monitoring and effective treatment means that your life can largely carry on as before.

Incredible medical progress has been made in the last 20 years and HIV treatment is now very effective. If you are diagnosed with HIV before it has damaged your body and you are put on effective treatment, you can expect to live as long as anyone else.

HIV treatment aims to lower the amount of HIV in the body to undetectable levels. Global research, known as the PARTNER study, has found that HIV cannot be passed on when the virus is undetectable. In other words, if someone is on effective HIV treatment, it is extremely unlikely that he or she will pass on HIV to anyone else.

This is a massive breakthrough. It means that if everyone with HIV were on effective treatment, we could finally stop the spread of HIV. Until then, it is essential to use condoms to protect yourself.

There are many ways you can test for HIV, you can visit LASS for a free, confidential rapid HIV test, you can sample your own blood/saliva and send it to a laboratory for the results which are then sent back to you (free) or you may wish to purchase a test which gives you a diagnosis in the comfort in your own home.  More information on HIV testing at LASS, at home, elsewhere in Leicester/shire and testing locations around the UK are available online here: http://www.lass.org.uk/hiv-testing/

 

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Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves

Beginning on Monday 2nd December to mark World AIDS Day and continuing on the following two Monday evenings, BBC Four is to screen the multi-award winning Swedish drama Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves, telling the story of the AIDS crisis as it hit Stockholm’s gay community in the 1980s.

The series gripped Sweden, united the LGBT community and is credited with an increase in awareness about HIV and AIDS. The programme was named as Sweden’s Best Drama at the Kristallen Awards. This year, its author, Johan Gardell was named Sweden’s LGBT person of the year and was presented an award by Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.

DEWTWG

Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves is a 3 part drama series about love in the shadow of AIDS, set in Stockholm in the 1980s.

When Rasmus and Benjamin meet at a party they fall instantly and deeply in love. For a short time their happiness continues until suddenly young men start to get sick, fade away and die. AIDS has come to Stockholm and nothing will ever be the same.

The series has been acquired for BBC Four by BBC’s Head of Acquisitions, Sue Deeks, who says: “This is a beautifully realised drama about the early years of the AIDS epidemic which has a poignant and affecting love story at its heart – we are so pleased to be able to bring it to BBC Four viewers.”

Set in Sweden, the series was a huge public and critical success when aired and it recently won the Kristallen (Swedish Emmy) for Best Television Drama. Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves also won the Audience Award at the Series Mania Festival in Paris last April, in competition with American TV dramas such as Game Of Thrones and House Of Cards.

It is directed by Simon Kaijser and written by renowned author Jonas Gardell, after his series of books with the same title. It is an in-house SVT production with Maria Nordenberg as executive producer.

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Unsafe Sex in the City

Tonight, BBC3 will go behind the scenes of a sexual health clinic for a new four-part documentary, Unsafe Sex In The City.

The documentary explores the dangers faced by young people who have unprotected sex and follows the stories of patients whose passionate encounters have led to physical and emotional anguish.

The programme goes behind the scenes of a sexual health clinic in Manchester, with staff recounting traumatic stories as well as sharing humorous anecdotes about their efforts to protect youths from sexually transmitted infections.

The show isn’t typical family viewing, but parents of teenagers and sexually active people may want to consider it.  Tonight’s patients include 22-year-old Kervin, who forgot to “strap up” before a one-night stand; a pink-haired 17-year-old who doesn’t believe in monogamy or protection; and a smooth-talking womaniser who’s far less full of himself after being interrogated and prodded by a no-nonsense nurse.

A BBC spokesman added: “BBC3 are excited to have access to one of the country’s busiest sexual health clinics.”
The show airs tonight at 9pm on BBC3, repeated at 12:15am on Thursday morning (25th) – Then again on Saturday 27th at 3:05am – or view it on BBC iPlayer.
 
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Are Travel Restrictions on People with HIV Justified?

Here’s a new interesting report on travel restrictions for people living with HIV.

Many people take for granted the luxury of being able to travel to pretty well anywhere in the world – if we can afford it.

There may be reasons at a government or political level why certain destinations are out of bounds to certain people, but there is one unique category of person who are not welcome in many parts of the world, which has nothing to do with their beliefs or politics – people who are HIV positive.

Rajan Datar (from BBC World Service) looks at whether there are still health risks attached to letting travellers with HIV in, or is it just intolerance?

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