Thursday, 1 December 2011

Worlds AIDS day

I've mentioned GMFA before on this post.
GMFA is the UK's leading charity dedicated to gay men's health. Their mission is to improve gay men's health by increasing the control they have over their own lives. Towards that goal I was contacted by them to post a video that promotes the service. Please see below:

Speaking of GMFA, today is 'Worlds AIDS day'. It's the day of the year that AIDS should be talked about. Of course it shouldn't be the only day of the year that we must remember our sexual health. However, this day gives a nice opportunity to do that. 

Think about some simple questions:
Do you know your status? Do you use condoms? Do you put yourself in jeopardy? Do you know how HIV is spread? 

It's very easy to get tested and learn your HIV status. Especially in the UK there are lots of places where you can get tested anonymously and quickly. Is there a reason you keep postponing it?

I felt like I needed to make a contribution towards that cause. So, I became a volunteer for GMFA. I've been a volunteer in the past but then I only did administrator work. Now, for GMFA I wanted to do more. So, I took the public facing training last week and today was my first time contributing. So, I met a fellow member from GMFA and we went to a night pub called 'Royal Vauxhall Tavern' to talk to people and raise money for the cause.

To be completely and utterly honestly honest I'll start with the 'bad' of volunteering. The whole thing was not very well organised. The person I was supposed to meet wasn't there. The t-shirt I was supposed to be given to wear wasn't there. The bar manager asked me for an ID that I wasn't told to bring and almost kicked me out. Finally there weren't many freebies to give to the people donating money or even a second money bucket.

The good: After putting all these bad things behind me, I truly enjoyed the experience. My fellow GMFA member was a veteran and knew how to talk and mingle with people. There were people donating money and thanking us for the work that the charity does. I was surprised to find out how open people can be and how generous. At the end of the night I felt very good about myself and proud. I didn’t do much but at least I did something…


  1. Thank you, for doing your part.

  2. I didn't do it to be thanked, but you're welcome! :-)

  3. As the 'veteran' volunteer, I really appreciated having you there and all of your hard work. I hope that the difficulties in the first part of the evening didn't put you off too much. It'll be interesting to see how much was raised. David Hoyle auctioned off a painting at the end of the evening for £300 and donated it to us, so the whole night will have been a success. Big thanks,

  4. @Matthew Thanks for the comment. I was a pleasure meeting and working with you. No, the difficulties didn't put me off. I will definitely try it again. It was very rewarding as an experience and I do recommend it.