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This World AIDS Day have the conversations that matter on HIV and sexual health

Hester Phillips

29 November 2022

We’re kick-starting open and honest conversations on sexual health and HIV. Are you in?

Picture of want from your sex life

What should you say to someone who tells you they have HIV? What do you want from your sex life? What are the best ways to show your partner you trust them? Asking these questions, and many others like them, is a brilliant way to get talking about sexual health and HIV.

This World AIDS Day we are encouraging you (or the young people you support) to use these questions – which Be in the KNOW has turned into handy discussion starters  – to kick off conversations about the sexual health issues that matter.

By having open, honest conversations we can tackle embarrassment, address untruths, and help young people feel good about themselves and their relationships. All this helps young people understand sexual health and take action to protect themselves.

What are discussion starters?

There are loads of discussion starters all over Be in the KNOW. They cover issues like sex, relationships, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

Each discussion starter poses a question then provides ‘pointers’ to help you think through the answers. So, take one of the discussion starters above – the question ‘What should you say to someone who tells you they have HIV?’ The pointers here highlight how, if someone tells you this, they may be in need of support, so it’s a good idea to think about what they might need help with. The discussion starter also gives suggestions about things to talk about, like asking what being on treatment is like for them and what they are doing to stay healthy.

Each discussion starter also has links to other helpful content. For example, the discussion starter above links to advice on talking to a partner about HIV, and tips on what to do if you or someone you know has just been diagnosed with HIV. This means you can find more helpful information you can trust to keep exploring the topic.

Getting the most out of discussion starters

Our discussion starters can be used in different ways to help spark the conversations that matter on HIV and sexual health. They are designed to be shared on social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. You might want to do this privately, so you can have a one-to-one direct chat with a friend, family member or partner. Or you might want to share a discussion starter in a group chat to get your friends talking. You could even use one as inspiration to start a face-to-face conversation or to help you think through and explore an issue.

If you work with young people, you can use discussion starters to kick-off or frame conversations about tricky or sensitive issues – whether that be in a group or one-on-one. Not sure where to start? Why not get the young people you work with to look through the discussion starters and choose which ones they’d like to through? You can use the discussion starters online or in person, and links to more relevant content in each one are a good way to keep exploring the issue and get more accurate and accessible information.

Where can I find discussion starters?

We have a selection of discussion starters - so why not take a look and start talking? Let’s make this World AIDS Day the day we kick-start the honest conversations about HIV and sexual health we all need to have!

Anything we’ve missed? If you have ideas for new discussion starters, or there’s an issue you think we need to cover get in touch to let us via info@beintheknow.org.

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