Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk

“For the past five years I have been living with HIV and the last two years of that openly and with no shame. I use my blog to talk about my own personal journey, my opinions and thoughts and to fight for what is right and fair for all People Living with HIV.

Unashamedly an activist, advocate and voice for all things HIV and LGBT awareness and rights related. As my body continues to battle the virus I continue to fight the fear and ignorance that leads to the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.”

Alex is from Manchester in the UK. His website/blog Alex Sparrowhawk: HIV & Me is here. He is on twitter at @birdy_tweet

80 days of HIV

published: October, 05, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Youth, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk checks in and talks about his new project, "...to show a daily snapshot of life with the virus."

80 days of HIV

I’ve not written anything for a while, or more accurately I have written a lot and left the contents of my ramblings in the draft vaults of WordPress.com. So what’s going on in my life? Well I’ve been dating someone since May and it’s going well enough for us to venture on our first trip away this weekend. Work is good and over the summer I was so proud to see our Can’t Pass It On campaign launch as well as tick off a number of other projects I’ve been working on this year. M

Run out of rhino

published: May, 19, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Dating, Gay Men, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

UK guy Alex Sparrowhawk tries the Tinder app and gets very mixed results.

Run out of rhino

I’m not the most patient of people and I’m also competitive – I’ve mastered being able to ‘win’ at anything, especially when I’m the only person involved. So when it comes to dating despite knowing something will happen unexpectedly and when the time is right I’m easily frustrated.  So whilst hungover over the bank holiday weekend I decided to download Tinder. Having been in a relationship until last August I’m late to the party with this one so I doubt much of what I have

Scotland says ‘yes’ to PrEP

published: April, 20, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Media, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk: "The news today exacerbates a postcode lottery that already exists in the UK when it comes to sexual health and the impact that has on the communities living with and affected by HIV."

Scotland says ‘yes’ to PrEP

In just a couple of weeks we will also have an announcement in Wales – let’s hope it is as positive. I’m annoyed at my ignorance but I don’t even know what’s happening in Northern Ireland and a quick ‘Google’ isn’t answering the question. Meanwhile in England we’re still awaiting the start date of another trial – although in reaction to the news today a statement was released:  "Considerable progress has been made in preparing for the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

HIV and dating: toe in the water

published: March, 13, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Dating, Gay Men, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Newly single after a long time in a relationship, the UK's Alex Sparrowhawk braves the currents of modern dating.

HIV and dating: toe in the water

Following my diagnosis it was a mere three months before I met my ex-partner. He was someone I spent another six and a half years with until we broke up at the end of last summer. I think I am in a little bit of an unusual situation; living with HIV for 87 months but during that period only being single for nine of them. I’ve been avoiding dating since the split, enjoying time by myself and busying myself with work, family and friends. Over the past few weeks I’ve been toying with the

Changes

published: January, 18, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Activism, Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

The UK's Alex Sparrowhawk discusses his recent change in meds

Changes

Merely two weeks into the year and it feels like a lot has happened already. Back to work, into the swing of building up my fitness again and feeling much more human than I did over Christmas. The biggest change has been to my medication, after two years on Eviplera I’ve made the switch to Stribild due to interaction issues with other medication.  It’s about a week since I started the new combination but I seem to be tolerating it well so far.   It’s a once-a-day pill just like my l

Thinking about 2016 and about what I want in my life.

published: January, 04, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Alex Sparrowhawk

From the UK, Alex Sparrowhawk: "Whilst colossal tremors shook political landscapes around the world my own little earthquakes have been no less eventful."

Thinking about 2016 and about what I want in my life.

As the end of the year approaches I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one glad to be getting off this twelve month roller-coaster ride. Full of ups, downs and side to sides the year certainly wasn’t boring. Whilst colossal tremors shook political landscapes around the world my own little earthquakes have been no less eventful. After six and a half years I decided to end my relationship with my partner and I’ve spent the autumn and winter reflecting on that decision. The challenges of HI

Lifegiving gifts

published: December, 20, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Community Events, Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Current Affairs, General Health, Mental Health, Sexual Health, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

From the U.K., Alex Sparrowhawk says, "... perhaps the best gift of all would be to share our knowledge and spirit with one another."

Lifegiving gifts

During another successful National HIV Testing Week I’ve spoken to a lot of different people about my own experiences of testing, and the one test that altered my life forever. I’m now seven years into my journey with HIV and with World AIDS Day 2016 approaching I’ve been thinking about the remarkable changes that have happened during that time. Seven years ago I was told I would need to start medication immediately, I was diagnosed ‘late’ and even though it was only five or six mon

One man's fight against HIV stigma, expressed in verse.

published: November, 17, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Alex Sparrowhawk

HIV poetry by Alex Sparrowhawk " I’m Undetectable, non-infectious But telling some of you is fucking pointless."

One man's fight against HIV stigma, expressed in verse.

  The Seven-Year Itch    The early days weren’t the typical honeymoon period And I guess that’s because I saw the situation as serious Reading up on the facts and speaking to people Realizing there was no use in staying hateful Life carried on and it was pretty normal Meds and appointments never stopped me being cheerful   As the relationship with HIV and me got older My confidence grew and became bolder I looked to tackle the ridiculous enigma Of ignorance and fear we pic

Acceptance

published: October, 13, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Alex Sparrowhawk

Finding a cure is a search for our acceptance and an end to shame says UK writer Alex Sparrowhawk, but we don’t have to wait

Acceptance

Over the weekend the media has been in a spin about a ‘breakthrough’ to finding a cure for HIV. The fact is we’re still a long way off and there’s still many trials and a lot of research needed before any form of a cure becomes a reality, let alone the logistics of distributing it and at what cost. Regardless of the facts many people with HIV will have felt jubilation at this news and it wasn’t long for the community to start sharing the story with each other, and some even announce

Your voice in your care

published: September, 27, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

"All too often decisions are made with little involvement with the people that new arrangements will impact," says U. K. guy, Alex Sparrowhawk

Your voice in your care

A long and busy week – but a really informative and interesting one, especially the last couple of days! On Friday I attended the Second Joint Multidisciplinary Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), looking at HIV in primary care. Throughout the day there was a lot of debate about cost, collaboration and communication. I believe the normalisation of HIV can only occur with increased involvement of primary care in HIV tes

One year at Terrence Higgins Trust

published: September, 08, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk on his first year working for an AIDS service organization (ASO) in the UK

One year at Terrence Higgins Trust

This time last summer I left the comfort of my old workplace, which I loved and had spent eight years developing my career in, to jump into the unknown. A new sector, new(ish) city, new people and a brand new job. I’d always had a vision to work in HIV eventually, but always presumed this would come much later in life, potentially when I was looking to wind down (haha, if only I’d known…) or fancied something different before I retired. But when the opportunity presented itself

Shaming promotes ignorance

published: August, 30, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Gay Men, Youth, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

"Shaming peers and failing to acknowledge the prevalence of HIV amongst men who have sexual relationships with other men is dangerous," says the UK's Alex Sparrowhawk

Shaming promotes ignorance

The ‘chesty cough stuff’ didn’t work and I endured the sore throat for a good few more weeks into the Autumn of 2009. I must have journeyed to the GP at least three times, each visit being told I would be alright and whatever it was causing the cough was just being stubborn and would sort itself out of it’s own accord (spoiler – it didn’t). During the final trip the term ‘persistent virus’ was used and the cogs started to turn in my mind. Persistent virus; THE virus? I li

It’s not as simple as using a condom.

published: August, 24, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Youth, International , Living with HIV, Sex and Sexuality , Alex Sparrowhawk

"Condoms don’t work for everyone and condom use isn’t always a choice," says the UK's Alex Sparrowhawk.

It’s not as simple as using a condom.

I take responsibility for my HIV status, I don’t blame myself (or anyone else); accidents happen and unfortunately the consequences of some are more severe than others. Living the rest of my life with a long-term condition is a slightly bigger deal than a slap on the wrist but I’m lucky to have handled my diagnosis relatively well and with a level head. It’s hard to explain what growing up queer or gay is like, identifying when you first had thoughts about the same sex, trying to

VII

published: July, 06, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Gay Men, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

"I'm still smiling today." From the UK, Alex Sparrowhawk looks back on his first seven years of life with HIV.

VII

This photo was taken in the summer of 2009, the middle of June and a week after when I believe I was in infected. At the end of that holiday in the south of France I started to feel unwell but it wasn’t until five months later that I would find out what the fever, sweats and cough I endured for the two weeks after I returned to the UK were all about. The past seven years with this condition have had their ups and their downs but I am a stronger and more confident person as a result of th

Why can’t we see beyond the latex?

published: June, 20, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Health, Sexual Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality , Alex Sparrowhawk

The UK's Alex Sparrowhawk says, "There is a alternative and it works" and makes a case for the National Health Service to comission PrEP

Why can’t we see beyond the latex?

"Condoms are extremely effective at stopping the transmission of a variety of STIs, including HIV – but there are plenty of transferrable infections that condoms offer little or no protection against."  NHS England announced this afternoon that it is maintaining the stance that it has no legal power to commission PrEP. As you would expect outrage from HIV organisations and activists followed but so too did the inevitable slut shaming that has shadowed the PrEP debate from the outset. C

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