Andrew, Charity and Sadiq: We can’t pass it on

15 April 2019

Three models for It Starts With Me

Andrew, Charity and Sadiq have been living with HIV for some time now and would like everyone to know that people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass on the virus to others.

What you need to know about how treatment stops HIV being passed on

The aim of HIV treatment is to lower the level of HIV (viral load) in someone’s blood to a point where it is so low that it cannot be detected in the laboratory (called an ‘undetectable viral load’). We are using the term effective treatment to mean that someone is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load.

The likelihood of passing on HIV is directly linked to the amount of the virus in your blood. The lower the amount of virus in your blood, the lower the chance of it being passed on, and vice versa. Having an undetectable viral load means that you cannot pass on HIV.

Here’s more about Andrew, Charity and Sadiq.

Andrew

Andrew is an education and social care worker from Lincoln. Andrew was diagnosed back in 2014 when he and his partner (now husband) decided to get tested. This resulted in his test coming back positive.

Find out more about Andrew’s story here:

Charity

Charity is part of Catwalk 4 Power, an organisation that aims to empower women living with HIV. Charity was diagnosed with HIV the first time she tested back in 2003. She has gone on to share her story as a way of combating outdated perceptions of what it’s like to live with HIV.

Find out more about Charity’s story here:

Sadiq

Sadiq is a model and circus performer from London. He was diagnosed back in 2014 and recently took part in our National HIV Testing Week campaign.

Find out more about Sadiq’s story here:

See how effective HIV treatment stops HIV being passed on.

The People Behind National HIV Testing Week

18 January 2018

National HIV Testing Week has now been running for six years, with more and more people getting involved every year. More people are visiting testing centres, ordering free HIV postal tests and spreading the message about this important cause.

The campaign wouldn’t be the success it is today without all the incredible people who have donated their time and resources, so we wanted to start the new year by celebrating them.

HRH Prince Harry

Prince Harry, Testing Week 2017

Prince Harry has been a long-time supporter of the campaign. He took an HIV test live on Facebook in 2016 and continued his support by becoming the face of National HIV Testing Week in 2017.

He generated a massive amount of awareness by visiting our pop-up shop and handing out free testing kits to members of the public, and has continued to be a prominent voice in the fight against HIV.

Celebrity Support

Celebrity support, Testing Week 2017

Over the years many celebrities have taken to social media to show their support, and in 2017 they flocked to our pop-up shop in Hackney to offer their support in person.

We were thrilled to be visited by influential names such as the wonderful MNEK, Adekunle Gold, Dorcas Fapson and Dr. Rupy Aujla, who all showed an enormous amount of passion and enthusiasm towards the campaign.

Influencer support

Influencers, Testing Week 2017Many influential online personalities help spread the key messages of National HIV Testing Week every year, and 2017 was no different.

Riyadh Khalaf, Joy Ogude, Kevin Shanti, Smade and Hannah Witton all acted as ambassadors for the campaign, helped to promote awareness, and encouraged countless other influencers to show their support as well.

Community Organisations

Community, Testing Week 2017Hundreds of community organisations right across the country get involved with National HIV Testing Week by opening out-of-hours testing facilities and spreading awareness far and wide. Seeing so many different organisations sharing their photos and messages of support is always a campaign highlight.

Community Support

Give HIV the finger, Testing Week 2017Our biggest thanks goes out to all the support we receive directly from the wider communities.

The campaign wouldn’t be able to run without the volunteer models who generously donate their time. These models act as ambassadors for our campaign and are seen everywhere right across the nation – from social media, to billboards, to double spreads in magazines.

HIV prevention really does start with all of us. Do your part by getting involved and helping us to spread the message today.

Find out if you need to test

Find out about types of HIV tests

The Faces Of Our Campaign

2 October 2017

Since the beginning of the It Starts With Me campaign, it’s been the passion of individuals that has been the driving force behind the project’s success. The fight against HIV relies on so many volunteers, and the campaign’s most recent video showcases this by featuring many of the real people who are making a difference in their own way.

Here’s a closer look at the people who make up the video and how each of them have played an integral role in the progress we’ve seen over the past few years.

Celebrity Support

Ranj

Doctor and television personality Ranj Singh has been a long-term supporter of the campaign, discussing National HIV Testing Week on national television as well as shouting about his support for the campaign on social media. Ranj represents the many celebrities that have made a difference in offering their support, including the likes of Stephen Fry, Prince Harry, Graham Norton and Dr Christian Jessen.

Ambassador Support

Horcelie

Horcelie Sinda – Miss Congo UK – is one of the many diverse voices that make up the voiceover for the video. As an ambassador for the campaign, she represents all the people speaking directly to their communities about the issues that matter most to them, and as an HIV activist herself, Horcelie is testament to the difference this can make.

YouTube Supporters

Joy

YouTubers Joy Ogude, Dan & Jon, Shoshana & Meredith, Jamie Raines, and Roly all make appearances and are just some of the many YouTubers who have been long-term supporters of the campaign. Contributing to over 3,000,000 views of the campaign videos, they’ve been an enormous  part of drawing attention to the campaign since its inception.

Drag Queen Support

Poppy

Drag queen Poppy Seed is seen putting on her makeup in the video. She represents the tireless support we’ve received from the drag communities over the past few years. The drag communities have rallied together to show their support for National HIV Testing Week every single year; they’ve graced the covers of magazines in the name of HIV prevention, and been exceptionally open and honest in sharing the personal stories that matter most to them.

Community Support

Joe

The video also features members of the wider communities who make a difference by taking action in their own lives and encouraging their communities to do the same. Prem, Laura, Joe, Charlotte, Zoheb, Otto and Shaaba all make up the remaining voices and faces in the video, as well as appearances and voiceovers from members of Terrence Higgins Trust staff and the It Starts With Me team.

HIV prevention really does start with all of us. We’ve really started something, and with your help we can stop HIV for good.