Since HIV was first diagnosed 30 years ago, many individuals, charities and organisations have worked tirelessly to break down the stigma surrounding HIV across the world. However, the reporting of a potential HIV diagnosis of a Hollywood actor has brought to light that the virus remains one of the globe’s last taboos.

This only compounds people’s fears.

Some individuals have criticised the way the story was reported by some media outlets – it is not our place to comment – however we will state that it is clear more work must be done to educate and inform the media and wider population about the transmission routes, the importance of testing and more importantly, the advances made in the treatment of HIV.

HIV is now 3 letters, not the death sentence it was portrayed to be 1980’s. As one of our supporters, Becky Mitchell, actively promotes: “HIV is life changing, not life limiting.”

It’s these positive messages which should be shared. HIV can be contracted by anyone – anyone. If we told their positive stories more, then perhaps people like this Hollywood actor wouldn’t be afraid to step forward and share their status.

Brigette Bard, founder of Last Taboo