Join in World AIDS Day with Know Your Status – live in Soho
Marking World AIDS Day on 1 December, Keyth David and BioSure present Know Your Status – Live!
Taking over Freedom bar in London’s Soho, Know Your Status is an event that celebrates the advances made in relation to HIV while acknowledging the challenges that still remain.
Know Your Status is a marathon 10-hour event, that features DJs, performances, conversations with health experts, and live HIV testing. The whole thing will be streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Periscope.
I caught up with Tracey Parker from BioSure for a behind-the-scenes look at the event.
Given the advances in treatment and preventing transmission of HIV, does World AIDS Day still matter?
Yes, definitely. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember what has happened and celebrate the progress that has been made.
It’s vital we keep creating more awareness around sexual health, HIV testing and treatment. There are still so many people who are unaware of the advances in testing and that treatments for HIV are now so good it is a totally manageable condition.
It’s important we continue generating and changing conversations about how people think, feel and talk about HIV, making it normal and easy to discuss because this is how, together, we will end it.
Why is an event such as Know Your Status the right way to mark World AIDS Day?
Now that HIV is treatable, with anti-retroviral treatments a person’s viral load can be reduced to a point where it becomes undetectable, which means their own health is protected so they can live a long and healthy life, but also it means HIV cannot be transmitted. This is what Undetectable equals Untransmittable means (U=U).
BioSure is a U=U partner and our team are deeply passionate about supporting the campaign and the global plan to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030. HIV is treatable but only IF you know, so we let people find out their own HIV status on their own terms. Our Know Your Status event on Worlds AIDS Day will create awareness globally through our live
streamed podcast event and our aim is to let everyone know about the importance of testing and how they can take control. It is so important to get the message out there to not be worried about knowing your status, only to be worried about not knowing – because if you don’t test, you can’t treat.
What are some of the logistical challenges in putting together an event that is also streaming live?
It’s always a little more challenging when you have a live audience and combining that with a streaming audience. How you watch theatre and how you watch TV or online videos is considerably different. In addition to this, we have paid advertising on the Live Stream which the live audience won’t see or hear so this needs to be taken into consideration as well.
We will also have the logistics of having fixed microphones on set for the Live stream and keeping it entertaining as there is a restriction of movement.
We decided to have a Live stream event this year for several reasons.
Firstly we have more flexibility on content, times, guests and how we present this and secondly this enables us to reach a much greater audience and in countries that have less access to information around sexual health, HIV, testing and treatments than the we do in the United Kingdom.
How interactive will the event be? Can you still take part even if you’re not in London?
We will have our social media team at the event. We will be streaming LIVE on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter and they all have their own chat rooms. We will also use the hashtag #KnowYourStatus.
There will be people sharing questions for our experts and guests to respond to.
People will also be able to leave a voice note or email their questions to [email protected] or if they are at the event they can simply pop their hand up.
Everyone will have the opportunity to get involved.
This is a ten-hour event – what will be some of the highlights?
As well as the live podcast show, the list of exciting entertainment is getting longer by the day. Best Gay Life, who are providing all our entertainment, have confirmed award winning DJ’s, pole dancers, hot gogo boys and special appearances from stars of west end shows.
Global house diva, Soraya Vivian is performing at the end of the show and we have just confirmed Kelly O’Brien from The Dolly Show – who will blow you away!
Another thing we can’t forget is the Paparazzi wall. It’s a red ribbon carpet event, so glam it up in red and get papped with the who’s who of the town!
Our live podcast show is featuring BioSure CEO Brigette Bard and Dr Alex who will be talking about sexual health and HIV, HIV Self Testing, treatment, with the opportunity to ask questions. They will be joined by Porn Superstar and HIV self test advocate Drew Dixon and sex educator Topher Taylor. We will also take U=U, prep and pep and myth bust on the subject of HIV.
What do you hope that people feel when they’re attending the Know Your Status event on World AIDS Day?
We hope that people will feel empowered to take responsibility for their wellbeing on their own terms, to get tested and Know Their Status.
We want people to feel that they are informed and able to make the choice that’s right for them and feel positive about testing. We also hope people will feel positive about being positive (having a positive result) because HIV is now a treatable and is a totally manageable condition.