HIV/AIDS – Knowledge Saves Lives
Emma Cole has been diagnosed HIV positive since 1991 and has chosen to speak publicly about living with HIV for over 20 years. In that time she has undertaken over 1,000 public speaking engagements to a wide variety of audiences including schools, health service providers, the police, social services, church groups and further education colleges.
As part of your PSHE, Enrichment, or General Studies programme, Emma can provide an honest, straightforward and sometimes even amusing account of living with HIV.
Topics covered in a ‘Positive Voice’ talk include
- Being diagnosed HIV positive
- Disclosure to friends and family
- Sexual Health and Relationships
- Treatment Issues
- Coping with ill health and illness
- Death and Dying
- The national and international perspective on HIV/AIDS
International research has shown that positive speakers decrease fear and prejudice about HIV, reinforce messages about protective behaviour, change perceptions and break down stereotypes.
Emma has appeared in a number of magazine and newspaper articles. She has also participated in programmes for both national and local radio in support of World AIDS Day. In 2001, Emma was one of three women featured in the critically acclaimed BBC documentary ‘Positive Women’.
Between 2009-10, Emma worked in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s 46664 campaign, writing a regular blog and providing awareness raising talks across the UK. In 2010 she was photographed by Rankin for an international campaign run by the UNAIDS and Body Shop to highlight HIV activists.