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Patrick Cash: 'Let's Talk About Gay Sex and Drugs - World AIDS Day Special'

2014-11-25
patrickTalking About HIV By Patrick Cash I was in a gay bar the other night, having a drink with a friend, when a guy interrupts us. He asks us what we're talking about. For an experiment, I answered honestly: 'HIV.' He makes a face; a face a mixture of 'tombstones?', '‪#‎borefest' and 'OMG I just wanted to conduct some happy-go-lucky drunken flirting and now I've actually got to make small talk about HIV. #‎FML.' When talking to another friend about the same subject, he said: 'but yeah, it's the complete chill factor, you don't want to talk about it, do you?' Later in the evening, he admitted: 'when I came out to my parents, they said 'that's okay, just don't get AIDS'.' I first wrote about HIV when I interviewed brave and outspoken guys like DJ Overlord Maximus Crown and filmmaker Timothy Lock about living with the virus. When that particular article was shared over Facebook it came up as ''Me, My Life and HIV' by Patrick Cash'. I got guys I’d had sex with messaging me immediately, asking if there was anything they should be worried about. I began to wonder if I should send out a social media disclaimer about my own status. At the time, I thought that this would go against the idea of breaking down stigma, but actually, I've realised maybe the reverse is more important: I am HIV negative, and I talk about HIV. I talk about it a lot. Because HIV affects us all. The 'H' stands for human. Whether we are positive or negative, whether we are gay or straight, if we're having sex then the existence of this virus is relevant to our lives. logo 2 This is why at the upcoming Let's Talk About Gay Sex & Drugs - World AIDS Day on 1st December, we’ve invited a range of featured speakers to talk out about these issues, and we’ll be holding an ‘Older & Younger Discussion of HIV’ featuring well-known London gay scene figures. The battle has never been positive verses negative; it's us as human beings, with all our uniting hopes and fears and dreams, verses a virus that doesn't care. Featured speakers lined up for the night, include: Dylan & Jack – Young gay podcasters who cast their irreverent but insightful touch across London gay nightlife. Tom Perry – Campaigns & Policy Officer for the National AIDS Trust, Tom will be telling us about their work. Dan Glass – Acclaimed by Attitude as one of their campaigning role models for LGBTI youth, Dan presents an excerpt from Shafted?!, an audacious, daring and unashamedly deviant HIV cabaret show. Greg Mitchell – An outspoken advocate of PrEP, Greg will be informing us of the advances around the new pill that could prevent HIV infections. Alexis Gregory – playwirght who'll be reading from his new play Bright Skin Light. The ‘Older & Younger Discussion of HIV’ invites two older gay scene personalities – DJ Stewart Who and 56 Dean Street drugs advisor David Stuart – to talk about how they perceive HIV today, with two younger gay scene figures: DJ Sam DMS and cabaret performer Pretty Miss Cairo. And of course, what forms the core of the night is our communication forum, where everyone who wants to speak gets five minutes to air their own views on the stage in a friendly, supportive environment. Sign up for a slot at the venue or on the Facebook page. ‘Let’s Talk About Gay Sex & Drugs – World AIDS Day’ takes place on Monday 1st December at Manbar (79 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0NE) from 6pm. All welcome, whether to speak or listen. Free entry.