As another World AIDS Day approaches, a lot of us are very aware of it, a lot of us have the reminder every day of the importance of adhering to our HIV drug regime!

Every day more people are being diagnosed HIV Positive, and that’s the lucky ones as there are still many people out there, walking about, totally unaware of this non-judgemental disease that can fester un-noticed in your body for years before it rears its ugly head, and believe me, it really is ugly if left a long time!!!

So please if you do read this, and you are a little concerned that things may not be quite right with you, feeling a little uneasy about that last time you had unprotected sex, then please ‘Go get tested’. The nurses at the clinic will not judge you, they will make you comfortable while they get your details and take a few vials of your blood. It is better to know your status, as if it does come back as a Positive result, then you will get the best treatment available straight away and have a good chance of a very long and healthy life.

Recently I had an idea for a new piece of work. It was inspired by a memory of last year while I was exhibiting some of my work at ‘Victorious Festival’ in Portsmouth. Ever prepared for outside weather, I had lucky invested in lots of £1 waterproof coats, these are a normal type of attire for most festivals in Britain! The heavens did open and the rain came down so heavily and consistently, I had to try to cover all my work as best as possible, so worried that my Dresses/gowns, some with hand written painted text all about HIV etc might be ruined! The dresses ended up wearing these £1 raincoats along with lots of other protective wrap until the sun shone again. I became ‘The Grinch of Victorious’ and was not a happy bunny while I looked at all my hard work that could be ruined in a matter of minutes! Luckily the pieces were fine, they did get wet, they had to be dried out and checked for any damage, damage was minimal and I have come to the decision that I won’t be exhibiting them outside again!

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It was almost like the HIV related work was wearing Condoms. huge condoms!!!

A long process again, and had to buy more pins, the pins were getting blunt as didn’t seem to like the plastic. white ribbon was stitched horizontally, which looked good but also was a way of securing the loose condoms.

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Not keen on the white ribbon, I bought some wider Red Ribbon, which has become known as a symbol with HIV/AIDS, but also looks far better.
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I continued inserting condoms, pinning and stitching. It was awkward to manoeuvre on the sewing machine at times, and the sewing machine stopped working! I had to go online for ‘troubleshooting problems with the Singer ‘Heavy Duty’ machine’. Eureka, I actually got it working again!
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I added 3 ‘Red Ribbon’condoms that I was given many years ago at a World AIDS Day event, they are like buttons and also an indication that even though this cape is filled with protection, this protection, once checked is really out of date and would not be ‘Safe’!

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