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HIV, Hope & Charity is a podcast series that gives people living with HIV a voice, along with discussing wider HIV related topics, such as PrEP, issues facing small charities and a bit more of an insight into who we are.


Chatting HIV and busting myths, one podcast at a time!


Click the buttons below to listen or you can tune in via iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify  or Google Podcasts

HIV History – HIV Conspiracies

From HIV being created by the CIA, to the AIDS epidemic being caused by polio vaccines, at some point you have probably heard some  pretty wild conspiracy theories about HIV. In this episode we explore, and debunk, a few of these!

Discredited HIV/AIDS origins theories – Wikipedia
African American people’s AIDS conspiracy beliefs best understood in terms of social anxiety and distrust, not ignorance | aidsmap
Debunked: The Polio Vaccine and HIV Link | History of Vaccines
Black Americans suspect HIV plot | World news | The Guardian

*Correction: We stated that Wangari Maathai was the first woman in America to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureat. This is incorrect, she was the first woman in Africa to receive this award.

Coming soon!

HIV Heroes – Ryan White

This weeks hero was diagnosed with HIV at 13 years old and became a household name in America due to his battle to go to school. We urge you to listen to Ryan White’s story – an unbelievable young man that has left an inspiring legacy.

Ryan White – Wikipedia
Who Was Ryan White? | RyanWhite (
Remembering Ryan White, the teen who fought against the stigma of AIDS | PBS NewsHour

Further Information
Ryan White | RyanWhite (
Ryan White CARE Act – Wikipedia

*Correction: we stated in the podcast that Ryan White passed away at the age of 19 but the correct age he passed away was 18.

HIV Heroes – Elizabeth Taylor

The person we are celebrating this week is a global mega star – the magnificent Dame Elizabeth Taylor! She used her power and platform to work tirelessly in the fight against AIDS. Have a listen to hear why she is an absolute HIV hero.

Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation
Elizabeth Taylor – Wikipedia
Elizabeth Taylor’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes (
Welcome to APLA Health
10 fun and interesting Elizabeth Taylor facts (

HIV Heroes – Keith Haring

This week we feature the legendary artist and activist, Keith Haring. Diagnosed with HIV in 1987 Keith is one of one of history’s best known street-artists-turned-AIDS-activists, using his art to help raise awareness of HIV and his own diagnosis to help combat stigma.

Keith Haring – Wikipedia
Keith Haring
Club 57 (nightclub) – Wikipedia
Facing death from AIDS, Keith Haring kept creating | American Masters | PBS
Keith Haring: Just Say Know – Rolling Stone
Keith Haring: street artist and AIDS activist who changed the world with a piece of chalk – HERO (
Keith Haring: 10 Facts You Didn’t Know | Hamilton-Selway (

HIV History – The Contaminated Bloody Scandal Part 2

HIV Heroes – Val Pollard

This week we travel all the way to the Yorkshire Dales where we explore the soap opera storyline of Val Pollard being diagnosed with HIV after a holiday romance. This Emmerdale storyline helped raise awareness of HIV in older women and encouraged an uptake in testing.

Val Pollard – Wikipedia
Emmerdale’s Val Pollard: HIV can happen to anyone, even funny people like Val says star Charlie Hardwick – Mirror Online
Val Pollard | Emmerdale Wiki | Fandom
Emmerdale’s Charlie Hardwick on Val Pollard’s HIV battle… | Closer (

HIV History – Philadelphia

In 1993 Philadelphia hit the big screen. The film was a huge success and helped educated people about HIV. In this episode we learn the backstory to this Hollywood blockbuster how and why this film was made and if it was based on a true story.

Philadelphia (film) – Wikipedia
Ron Nyswaner – Wikipedia
Jonathan Demme – Wikipedia
Edward Saxon – Wikipedia
Geoffrey Bowers – Wikipedia
Joel Hyatt – Wikipedia
Looking Back at ‘Philadelphia,’ 25 Years Later | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

HIV Heroes – Terry Higgins & John Eaddie

This week we pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the very early days of HIV in the UK, including a group of remarkable men whose passion and determination led them to form Europe’s first HIV charity – the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Rupert Whitaker – Wikipedia
The tragedy that inspired a life-saving charity – BBC News
The Newport man who helped start HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust after losing dozens of friends – Wales Online
Solved: The 40-year mystery of the first man to die of AIDS in Britain | ITV News
Terry Higgins – Wikipedia
How it all began | Terrence Higgins Trust (

Further Information
Home | Terrence Higgins Trust (

HIV Heroes – The Berlin Patient

The second part of our special World AIDS Day trilogy is all about cures! Our HIV Hero is Timothy Ray Brown (The Berlin Patient), the first person to be cured of HIV. We also learn about Adam Castillejo (The London Patient), the second person to be cured of HIV.
Sarah talks us through where we are in terms of finding an HIV cure and the different options that are currently being explored.

I Am the Berlin Patient: A Personal Reflection (
Timothy Ray Brown – Wikipedia
Is there a cure for HIV and AIDS? | Avert
Adam Castillejo – Wikipedia
HIV vaccine trial starts at Oxford | University of Oxford

Further Information
Avert | Global information and education on HIV and AIDS

HIV Heroes –  The Red Ribbon

The third episode in our World AIDS Day special edition! Did you know that the HIV red ribbon was the very first awareness ribbon of its kind?! Have a listen to this episode to find out all about how and why the red ribbon came to be a symbol for HIV support and also why wearing the ribbon is so important.

Red ribbon – Wikipedia
The Red Ribbon Project | Visual AIDS
World AIDS Day – Wikipedia

HIV Heroes – Mark Fowler

This week we hear about a true Walford icon and Queen Vic regular – Mark Fowler. Mark was the first mainstream soap  character to be diagnosed as HIV positive, but how and why did this storyline come about?

Beyond the tombstone: how British TV responded to the AIDS crisis | BFI

Further information
Magic Johnson Foundation

HIV Heroes –  Francoise Barre-Sinoussi

The first in our special World AIDS Day trilogy! We kick things off with the fascinating story of how the HIV virus was discovered and we induct Francoise-Barre-Sinoussi into the HIV Heroes hall of fame!

There are more viruses than stars in the universe. Why do only some infect us? (
Human retroviruses | Division of Medical Virology (
Reverse Transcriptase: Definition, Function & Structure – Video & Lesson Transcript |

HIV Heroes – Magic Johnson

On the 7th of November 1991 Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson shocked the world by retiring from basketball and announcing that he is HIV positive. Since his diagnosis he has worked hard to highlight that HIV can affect anyone. He is an absolute HIV Hero and you need to have a listen to learn just what a legend he is!

Magic Johnson wishes he hadn’t retired so early [Video] | Lakers Now | Los Angeles Times (
Safer Sex: What You Can Do to Avoid AIDS: Johnson, Earvin “Magic”: 9780099200215: Books
Magic Johnson Foundation | Do Good LA
Magic Johnson – Wikipedia

Further information
Magic Johnson Foundation

HIV Heroes – Stephen Hart

Sarah shares with us the story of an incredible individual who has overcome so many challenges, taken these experiences and turned them into a Broadway show! He continues to share his journey living with HIV via his YouTube channel to help others. This weeks HIV Hero is the fantastic Stephen Hart!

HIV Heroes – JVN

This week we feature someone that is part of the fab five, a hair stylist extraordinaire, podcaster and all round ray of sunshine. So have a listen and find out why Jonathan Van Ness is our HIV Hero!

Jonathan Van Ness on being HIV positive: ‘It gave me a reason to really fight’ | Queer Eye | The Guardian
Jonathan Van Ness – Wikipedia

Further information
Jonathan Van Ness | Getting Curious

HIV Heroes – NAT & Deborah Gold

Today we learn about, and celebrate, the fantastic work that the National AIDS Trust does and their CEO, Deborah Gold. NAT tirelessly fight for the rights of people living with HIV and is the driving force for equality. They are absolute HIV Heroes and you should come on this journey with us to learn all about the work that they do.

HIV Heroes – UK Positive Lad

In this episode we learn about Tom Hayes and Jess makes her case as to why he is an HIV hero. Tom is an absolute force to be reckoned with and works tirelessly to advocate, support, educate and create change in the world of HIV.

Tom Hayes, Author at beyondpositive
Tom Hayes – PositiveLad (
Home – Saving Lives (
HIV-positive campaigner Tom Hayes on the horrific moment he was wrongly accused of ‘deliberately infecting’ others – Birmingham Live (

Further Information
Positively Thriving | LiVLife

Facebook @ukpositivelad
Twitter @PositiveLad
Instagram @positivelad

HIV Heroes – Lord Fowler

It’s back to the 80’s again this week where Sarah delves into the history of the ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ adverts and we learn what Lord Fowler was up against when trying to get launch this public health campaign.

House of Lords Speaker steps down to campaign on HIV/Aids and LGBT rights | The Independent


HIV Heroes – Be More Jill

In this episode of ‘HIV Heroes’ Sarah and Jess talk all things Jill Nalder. This incredible woman has had a huge impact on the lives of so many people living with HIV. Her experiences also helped inspire the smash hit series ‘It’s a Sin’.  #bemorejill

Jill Nalder – Wikipedia
In Conversation with Jill Nalder | Cherwell
It’s A Sin: The woman who inspired Russell T Davies’ Aids drama – BBC News

Further Information
Who We Are – MAD (
Home – The Sussex Beacon
The WestEnders – Welcome!

Sean – It’s a Sin Special

Sean talks with us about his experiences of being a young gay man during the 80s and 90s and also his experiences of volunteering as a ‘buddy’ with TVPS for those who were dying of AIDS during that time. He’s our very own Jill!

Below you can find the links we mentioned, and more…
aidsmap | aidsmap
Avert | Global information and education on HIV and AIDS
Home | Safe Sex Berkshire
Home | Terrence Higgins Trust (

Mark – It’s a Sin Special

After moving to London in the early 90’s Mark was diagnosed with HIV. He shares his experience of being diagnosed at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

GMFA – Stripped Bare Feature

Rich – It’s a Sin Special

Rich shares his experience of his wife being diagnosed with HIV in the early 90’s when she was pregnant with their son.  

We also give a shout-out to some other great HIV related podcasts
Podcast | Positively UK
Positively Thriving | LiVLife
HIV Hour – RadioReverb
Tell Me About It on acast
Talking Stigma with Gareth Thomas (

Episode 7 – National HIV Testing Week

Sarah and Jess talk all things National HIV Testing Week, including all the different ways you can test for HIV.

TVPS – 1 minute HIV test at discreet venues (free)
Time to Test – Postal HIV test for West Berkshire residents (free)
HIV Test – Postal HIV tests (free)
Fettle – Postal STI testing kits (paid)
Superdrug – Home HIV Test (paid)
Safe Sex Berkshire – sexual health clinic information
It Starts With Me – NHTW campaign website
Mother of all Lists – Being a Positive Mother

Season 2 Episode 1 – TVPS in Lock-down

Sarah and Jess talk all things lock-down, including how TVPS have adapted their services and how we are staying occupied during this time.

P.E. with Joe Wicks
Camp Fit
Red Run London
Hygiene Bank
Baby Bank
Safe Sex Berkshire

Episode 5 – Allan

Allan opens up about what happened and how he felt, when he was newly diagnosed, 4 years ago and the journey he has been on since then. We talk family, disclosure, recovery and everything in-between.

myHIV Forum

Episode 6 – Sean

Sean talks with us about 26 years of volunteering with TVPS, from starting out as a ‘buddy’ to becoming the Chair of our organisation. He also gives us his views on the changing face of HIV, funding cuts and the challenges that small charities encounter.

Episode 3 – Andy

Andy shares his experience of taking PrEP, from initially buying it himself to later becoming part of the PrEP Impact Trial. He takes us through why he takes PrEP, how he doses, what happens on when you become part of the trial as well as how it’s improved his sex life.

Useful links:
I Want PrEP Now
PrEP Impact Trial
Dean St. PrEP Shop

Episode 4 – Jack D

Jack talks with Sarah and Jess about being diagnosed with HIV at 15 years old following his first sexual encounter. He shares with us how he handles HIV disclosure and how this had changed for him over the 16 years of his diagnosis.

Episode 1 – Sarah & Jess

Sarah and Jess have worked at Thames Valley Positive Support (TVPS), an HIV support charity in Berkshire, for a combined 26 years and in this episode, they share some of their experiences of working within the HIV/charity sector along with why they feel there’s a need for an HIV podcast.

Episode 2 – Sheila

Sheila talks with Sarah and Jess about living with HIV as a woman, juggling relationships, motherhood, work and all the usual stresses and strains of life. She explains why she feels her HIV diagnosis helped her achieve her goals and how she learned to accept her diagnosis and love herself again.