HIV wear your Tee Day!

On 1st July, Wake Up Pune volunteers woke up and put on their HIV Positive t-shirts. They just went about their daily lives, but at the same time spread the message that they we’re HIV Positive. The aim of HIV Tee day was to:

1) Raise awareness about HIV through dialogue between T-shirt wearers and those around them. We have found that people will ask questions when confronted with a clear statement such as this one. The T-shirt will prompt our friends, family and even strangers to ask questions about HIV.

2) Reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV; because of stigma and discrimination, people are afraid to even talk about HIV, let alone find out the information they need to protect themselves. The more people that are positive about Education, Awareness and Support, the better.

3) Show solidarity with PLHIV; by wearing the T-shirt we can show support and understanding for PLHIV. This encourages more people to come forward for testing and treatment services.

4) Challenge stereotypes about PLHIV; particularly that all PLHIV look sick or are dying. In reality, a person living with HIV can look and feel as healthy as anybody else, as long as they learn to manage their infection correctly.

Jemma Clegg, Wake Up Pune volunteer shared her story…

I’ve volunteered with Wake Up Pune for nearly a year now, but I have only ever really worn the t-shirt at Wake Up Pune events. There’s safety in numbers, so it was a bit daunting venturing out on my own in the t-shirt on HIV Tee Day. I was surprised by the response it provoked. A few people came up to me and asked why I was wearing the t-shirt. Once I told them about Wake Up Pune and about being HIV Positive they were really supportive. All through the day I did get more than my fair share of odd looks, but I guess that’s what happens when you tackle stigma and discrimination head on. I’d encourage all Wake Up Pune volunteers to wear their t-shirt on the next HIV Tee Day on 1st August!’ 


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