Carley on run for cause
A Newquay teacher aims to raise awareness about what it is like to live with HIV following the shock she felt when a family member told her they have the illness.
Carley Barber (above), who teaches RE at Newquay Tretherras, says initial upset quickly turned to relief after discovering her relative can lead a healthy life thanks to advances in medication.
She is now on a mission to increase local knowledge of HIV by taking on the 26.2 mile London Marathon while raising funds for HIV and sexual health charity, The Terrence Higgins Trust.
She has already been busting myths and erasing stigmas about HIV by talking to students at Newquay Tretherras about sexual health issues, and several fundraisers have been held there, including cake sales and school discos.
Carley said: “When a member of my family first told me they were living with HIV it was really upsetting, but within 10 minutes they had told me all about their medication and that they are all okay.
“The initial shock made me realise that people need to know more about what HIV is today. It isn’t what it was 30 years ago. Today my family member lives a healthy and normal life. As a teacher, I want my students to know what HIV is really like, and to talk openly about sexual health.
“There are around 101,000 people living with HIV in the UK, and although today someone with HIV can live a long and healthy life thanks to advances in treatment, stigma and myths around the virus still prevail. A recent survey by The Terrence Higgins Trust found that one in five people still wrongly think HIV can be transmitted by kissing, which is not the case.
“Since we’ve started discussing HIV, the students have started asking questions which has helped erase some of the stigma around the virus.
“The engagement from the pupils, and the whole school, has been fantastic. We’ve had cake sales, a school disco for the Years 7s and we’re getting ready for Tretherras’ talent competition – all raising money for The Terrence Higgins Trust.”
Carley will be stepping out of her comfort zone by taking part in the London Marathon as it will be the first marathon she will have taken on. She said: “I’m not a runner but it’s a personal challenge I’m tackling head on. I’ve now caught the running bug as I’ve also signed up for a half marathon at the end of March.”
Tom Woolveridge, the community fundraising assistant at The Terrence Higgins Trust, said:“The awareness raising and fundraising that Carley is doing makes such a big difference to people living with, and affected by, HIV.
“The money raised will help us deliver vital services to help us end the HIV epidemic, improve sexual health and empower people to live well with HIV.
“We’re delighted to have Carley’s support as she runs her first ever marathon, and we’re wishing the best of luck to everyone running for us this year.”
The vision of The Terrence Higgins Trust is a world where people with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination, and good sexual health is a right and reality for all.
To find out more about fundraising for the Trust, visit www.tht.org.uk
- 13th March 2017 10:33
- For anyone who is living with HIV in Cornwall - Kernow Positive Support is here for you. We are the only charity in Cornwall supporting people living with HIV and their families, carers and friends.
We also offer HIV awareness to schools, colleges, clubs, societies, businesses etc.
For more information, or to get in touch with us, see our website: http://www.kernowps.co.uk/ or facebook Kernow PS Truro