The community in Govan joined millions of people around the world on Wednesday 1 December to commemorate World Aids Day by raising awareness of a disease that afflicts 33.4 million lives worldwide.
At the Pearce Institute on Govan Road, members of the local community braved atrocious weather conditions to attend an event hosted by the Jubilee Social Centre. There they heard from Reverend Michael Angley Ogwuche of Govan’s Jubilee Social Centre, the international Christian charity, before watching a documentary investigating the Aids/HIV situation across Glasgow and the world.
Said Reverend Michael: ‘ It is important that on this most remarkable of health days we as a community do something. It is very important that people know that HIV and Aids is a problem that has not gone away.
‘There are 33.4 million lives affected by this disease across the world and over 6000 in Scotland. The problem is still covered in a shroud of stigma. As long as you live on planet earth then you need to be tested for Aids and HIV. We need to keep up the fight against the pandemic.’
The audience then watched a documentary, made by the Jubilee Social Centre, called HIV Reframed. It investigates Aids and HIV in the Glasgow community and tackles misconceptions and myths relating to the illness.
The film highlighted the difference between having HIV and being ‘Aids sick’ – the latter being the stage when symptoms are active in the sufferer.
John Flanagan, Councillor for Govan, also addressed the room, saying: ‘People should not discriminate through their misconceptions about HIV and Aids. Awareness should be promoted, it is a disease that continues to affect people across the word and within this city.’
Before finishing with refreshments for all, a minute’s silence was observed for all Aids/HIV sufferers around the globe, joining the million of others doing the same worldwide. The message of the event and documentary was this: Aids and HIV is associated with death, but to be educated is too know that long happy lives can still be enjoyed by people with this condition.
Frank Maguire, of Thompsons solicitors, won the prestigious Solicitor of the Year category recently at the Scottish Law Awards in Glasgow.
The award signals a rare double success – Mr Maguire led Thompsons to the Law Firm of the Year title at last year’s ceremony.
Mr Maguire is a tireless campaigner on behalf of asbestos victims and NHS patients who contracted Hepatitis C and HIV from infected NHS blood transfusions and products.
The judges at last night’s glittering ceremony also recognised his professional skills and praised his political convictions and his impact in changing the law.
Mr Maguire said: “This is a tremendous honour which reflects the professionalism of my colleagues whose support has made it possible.
“The Law is currently going through a period of change and uncertainty, which means we have to be more vigilant than ever that our rights are not eroded.
“I am working with the STUC on their Access to Justice campaign against rising court costs which threaten to price the man in the street out of our courts.
“I am also supporting MSP Bill Butler in his efforts to get the Scottish Parliament to pass the Wrongful Deaths bill which would eliminate the need for details of victims lives to be the subject of courtroom wrangling and give them a legal right to fair and just compensation.”