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Stigma Warrior: Meet Veda Lady

Meet today's #StigmaWarrior

"My name is Veda, I am a performer and HIV activist living in Dublin, Ireland.
I think it’s important to stand up to stigma because it is a love blocker & stigma creates shame. When actor Rock Hudson passed away from an AIDS related illness in 1984, I was 12 years old . My adolescence happened in a very Catholic culture where moral outrage about queer people & HIV/AIDS was fever pitch.

I’ve faced shame and discrimination my whole life and helping to change the hearts & minds of people seems like the right thing to do. We need to destroy stigma, and encourage everyone to get tested, seek treatment and know they’re status.

I fight stigma in my own life by wearing a lot of HIV related merchandise these days & we make our own for our podcast too. So, I’m the local queen who has a U = U t-shirt or a “HIVIP” top for every occasion. When we started doing our podcast I used to feel self conscious about branding myself as HIV+ on the street, but now I love it . I take so much pride in my visibility, that it counteracts the cobwebs of stigma that still sometimes exist in the corners of my mind.

My advice to anyone facing stigma within their community is to reach out, find support, share your story and be open to new friends. There are some amazing groups and wonderful people working with the HIV community. If you can’t access them in person , find them online. Also, you might listen to our podcast, Poz Vibe , where you’ll find lots of cool new contacts there along with links to their social media."

#hcaillc #fightstigma #loveislove #hivaids #UequalsU