Robbie Lawlor praised after his appearance on Tommy Tiernan Show

The HIV activist spoke candidly about his HIV diagnosis to Tommy Tiernan and highlighted the importance of U=U - Undetectable equals Untransmittable.

Still Image from the Tommy Tiernan show of Tommy talking to Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor has been praised for educating the nation on HIV and the stigma that surrounds it during his appearance on the Tommy Tiernan Show over the weekend.

The HIV activist spoke candidly about his own diagnosis in 2012 when he was 21 and the breakthroughs in treatment in recent years which means that undetectable equals untransmittable.

As well as informing the public, Robbie Lawlor also informed Tommy Tiernan himself.

“Would you be shocked if I told you that my boyfriend is HIV negative and we don’t wear condoms in the relationship?” he asked Tommy.

“There’s this lovely, lovely scientific term called U=U. Undetectable = Untransmittable.

“Because the medication is so good, there’s so few of free-flowing HIV in my semen that I cannot pass on HIV. It’s impossible sexually.”

“It’s a game-changer… for me, it means my HIV affects no one. Maurice, my partner of seven years now, it doesn’t affect him. I take my pill every day to keep me safe, and him of course.”

The interview gained a lot of attention online with people praising Robbie Lawlor for his charm and clear explanations of HIV and its treatment. Some commented on how unaware they were of HIV in Ireland and what it meant to be HIV positive.

Lawlor also discussed how people’s unawareness comes from a lack of education and how this is leading to rising rates of infection in the country.

“HIV rates have never been higher in Ireland than they are today. We get around 500 new diagnoses per year. We’re one of the highest in Europe actually per rate of diagnoses,” he said.

“It’s still quite prevalent. So around half of new diagnoses are among the gay and bi people in our society.

“But a quarter are women. Around 4pc are injecting drug users. A lot of heterosexual men out there. But these are the stories you don’t hear, these are the faces you don’t see.”

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris also joined in the praise for Lawlor’s interview saying: “Educational, honest and real. You will have helped so many & indeed helped us all in terms of understanding and knowledge.” He also agreed to meet with Act UP, the USI and Lawlor to discuss how to improve education around sexual health and HIV.

For more information visit HIV Ireland’s website and for information on testing click here.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.