Phillip Antony Dzwonkiewicz, Mr Gay England 2018, shares his story in a new short film titled JUS+ LIKE ME, which has been created to fight the stigma that still surrounds HIV.
Dzwonkiewicz has been working on his campaign #HIVDoesntDefineYou since he won the title of Mr Gay England. Phillip brought his campaign for the ‘project section’ during the Mr Gay Europe 2018 competition to Poland last August. It was awarded first place among the other contestants’ projects.
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Yesterday we recreated a poignant number from my past, it started me on my new path! Thank you to the amazingly talented @douekdoes for capturing the struggle so beautifully and @callumsterling for being a beaut of a person! And a huge thank you to @believemedia_london #hivdoesntdefineyou #notdoneyet #uequalsu #mrgayengland2018 #dance #passion #pain #acceptance #director #documentary #hivstigma
The short movie telling Phillip’s story was created in collaboration with Positive East, and directed by Samuel Douek.
“Advancements in treatment and prevention for HIV have seen a drastic fall in numbers of new diagnoses,” the opening scene explains. “But as we move further away from the memory of the AIDS epidemic, a new era of complacency, stigma and lack of education is emerging.”
The film aims to launch this new chapter in the fight against HIV/AIDS, hoping to break down what has been described as the Second Silence.
The launch was made to coincide with the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. In the documentary, Phillip shares many layers of his life living with HIV, how he was infected, how it affected his mental health after the diagnosis, the impact on his life, his family and how he navigates society at large. It is a must watch, you can check it out down below.
The United Kingdom is one of the first countries to exceed its UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, which were set as part of the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS.
Public Health England reported that an estimated 92% of people living with HIV in the UK have been diagnosed, 98% of those diagnosed are on treatment, and 97% of those on treatment are virally suppressed.
The report added that there is an estimated total of 102,000 people living with HIV in the UK in 2017 with 8% (8,200) unaware of their infection.
Yet, 87% of all people living with HIV had an undetectable viral load as a result of effective treatment and were unable to pass on their infection to other people- U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).
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