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Invisible Threads

9. Gerard Lovett


In this special episode of Invisible Threads, recorded to mark World AIDS Day, we meet Gerard a 57 year old publican & postman from Cavan. After being diagnosed with HIV in his late 30s he was faced with a choice to remain in the closet, or to risk losing his family to come out as both gay and HIV Positive in pursuit of living an honest life. Since the first cases of HIV were reported more than 35 years ago, 78 million people have become infected and 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Almost directly after its emergence in the early 1980’s AIDS, or GRIDS (Gay-related immune deficiency syndrome) as it was initially called became inextricably linked to the LGBTQ community – for many years a diagnosis of HIV was presumed to be fatal and the shame, fear and stigma associated with the virus live on to this day. While there is currently no cure for HIV advances in available treatment mean that people living with the virus can have long & healthy lives. World AIDS day is celebrated annually to show support for those who have been diagnosed and to remember those who have been lost to the disease. This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 LGBT Support Services If you would like to know more about LGBT Ireland and the work which we do visit our website. https://lgbt.ie/ LGBT+ support (helplines, peer support) National LGBT Helpline 1800 929 539 [Mon.-Thurs. 6.30pm-10pm; Fri. 4pm-10pm; Sat.-Sun. 4-6pm] -all monthly peer support group meeting dates / times check- www.lgbt.ie Gender Identity Family Support Line run by LGBT Ireland & Transgender equality Network Ireland (TENI) tel. 01 907 3707 [Sundays 6-9pm; Tuesday 10am-12noon) TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland): https://www.teni.ie BeLonGTo, the national organisation for LGBT young people: https://www.belongto.org HIV Ireland: https://www.hivireland.ie/