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Pics | HIV-positive guys strip off to combat stigma in hot new shoot

2015-11-30
In celebration of World AIDS Day tomorrow (December 1), HIV-positive guys are shedding their clothes to fight stigma surrounding the virus, to prove that a positive diagnosis doesn't have to stop you feeling healthy, happy and sexy in your own skin. 15 gay men living with HIV have bared it all for FS Magazine's Dec/Jan issue for the publication's 'Stripped Bare' campaign, which also includes and in-depth feature that examines the experiences of over 500 HIV-positive gay men and the stigma they've faced. Stripped-bare6_640x345_acf_cropped If you recognise some of the faces on show, that's because you may have seen an eye-opening video of the guys reading horrible dating app messages last week. FS editor Ian Howley said: "What struck me about the responses to the survey was the number of HIV-positive gay men who felt unattractive, unwanted and less sexual because they have HIV. "Everyone wants to feel wanted, to feel sexy, and to have a healthy sex-life. Everyone who stripped for us is living with HIV. "Some have been living with HIV for decades, some for only for a few months, but all decided to get naked because they wanted to show you that HIV doesn’t have to stop them from being who they are." 1B5E39C5 Matthew Hodson, CEO of gay men's health charity GMFA, who have co-created the campaign, said: “Stigmatising people with HIV discourages men from testing and accessing the treatment that can save their lives and make them less likely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners. "Stigma discourages gay and bisexual men from having honest discussions about HIV status and past risk behaviour. "This is why it’s so vital that we bring an end to HIV stigma by dispelling the ignorance and fear that still surrounds this virus." 1B5E39C5 This World AIDS Day GMFA are asking people to donate £5 or £10 (or as much as they can) to help provide vital information about HIV and HIV prevention to even more gay men. Text GMFA15 £5 or £10 to 70070 or donate online at www.gmfa.org.uk/donate. Check out FS magazine's brilliant new issue below: https://issuu.com/gmfa/docs/fs151/1?e=2011174/31627305 More stories: Opinion | HIV's rising - it's time to rethink our priorities Daniel Franzese interviews HIV activist Cleve Jones: 'So much stigma comes from gay men'