Chris Vincent has HIV. In the video he shares why he decided to tell his story in Hello Gorgeous.
People have asked me about talking publicly about being HIV+, but I never really saw the need to come out about it, I didn’t see what difference it would make.
About a year ago, my friend Rene introduced me to the editor of Hello Gorgeous. They liked my roller-coaster ride of a story — at my lowest I’ve wanted to kill myself, whereas now I’m sincerely happy.
Nothing came of it until this summer, when I was interviewed and photographed for the magazine.
Yesterday, the day I filmed this video, I was at the pharmacy picking up my HIV medication — I’m not kidding — when I discovered that Hello Gorgeous had revealed the cover of their latest issue. The cover was my face, with the words: “Chris is coming out.”
I had no idea that they might put me on the cover. I was honoured, of course, but it was a surprise. The magazine isn’t publicly available until next week, so I felt sort of half ‘outed’ with no explanation as to why I was on the cover of Hello Gorgeous — my HIV coming out story was all in the article, that no one was able to read yet.
Nothing against the magazine, I’m thrilled to be a cover-boy for Hello Gorgeous, and they’ve been fantastic to work with. But the emotions of the situation all became a bit overwhelming. I went home quickly. I tried to think. I was going around in circles. Then I just put on the camera and sat down in front of it. That’s why this video begins with 40 seconds of silence.
It’s 40 seconds of me not knowing if there’s even going to be a video at all, because I have no idea what to say or how to say it.
But words eventually started to materialise.
You’ll be able to read Chris’s coming out story in Hello Gorgeous, but in the meantime here’s his coming out video.
Impulse London is bringing sexy to safer sex
Celebrate the #InternationalCondomDay
13th February is International Condom Day and Impulse London is celebrating it with the ‘Slip it On Me’ campaign. The charity is looking to remind us that condoms are still an important tool to keep us safe from STIs.
Conveniently the day before Valentine’s Day, the International Condom Day (ICD) was created by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The foundation’s website describes it as an “innovative and lighthearted way to remind people that wearing a condom can prevent pregnancy and STDs, including HIV”.
To celebrate the date, the guys at Impulse London stripped off their clothes and created this eye-catching campaign. The highlight of the campaign is the importance of being in control of your sexual life. Sex is something you should enjoy and not fear.
“Being safe is sexy, consent is sexy, your body is sexy!”Taofique Folarin – Director of Events at Impulse London
Use it or don’t – it is YOUR choice
Nowadays most STIs are easily treatable or manageable and no longer life-threatening, but the symptoms sometimes can be a pain in the ass (literally).
Testing regularly and using condoms are just two of the many possible ways to keep you and your partners safe.
If having bareback sex is something that causes you anxiety then ‘slip one on’. The last thing you want to be while having sex is tense – especially if you’re bottoming.
Taofique Folarin, Director of Events at Impulse London and one of the models in this campaign, understands that conversations like these “can be tricky to have, but are very important and can be very rewarding” but reminds us that “it is important you do not go against your own truth whilst being open to a conversation”.
“Your sexual health is YOUR priority and YOUR responsibility and it is YOUR decision.”Taofique Folarin – Director of Events at Impulse London
“A piece of rubber may not seem sexy. But the safety it provides (if used correctly) can help prevent not only your body, but your self-esteem and your sex life, from embarking on an unnecessarily painful journey.”Kayden Gray – Director of Advocacy at Impulse London
Do you know how to use condoms?
When asked which advice he would give to a young gay guy just starting out, Kayden Gray, Director of Advocacy at Impulse London, replied that “being confused about sex stuff is super normal, especially since sex ed is not always taught or applicable or diverse enough for people who aren’t straight. As far as putting on a condom goes, the instructions come with every condom pack. What’s even more exciting, you can find a lot of tutorials online which will give you a very clear idea how to do it.”
If you have any doubts on how to use condoms properly or simply want to see a couple of hot guys putting a condom on their dicks take a look at the educational video below created by the New Zealand non-profit organisation Ending HIV:
For more information on how to have a better and safer sex life visit your nearest sexual health clinic.
If you live in London, you can order a free STI test at Sexual Health London. You can do it from the comfort of your home and it’s easy, discrete and free.
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