To rip off a rather famous Fawlty Towers quote: “Don’t mention the HIV!”.

This is how I’m feeling attempting to fund-raise for the THT WalkForLife, and about HIV/sexual health in general.

In the real world people seem incredibly uncomfortable talking about sex, let alone sexual health and HIV, often resorting to jokes and then rapidly changing the subject. I had hoped that Twitter might have been different, but I’m increasingly being proven wrong. People seem happy to chatter on about reality TV, post pictures of cats in boxes and Lady Gaga videos but dare mention HIV and they clam up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to LOLcats and the Gaga, they definitely have their place on twitter – but so should important and meaningful content.

As I’ve mentioned I’m busy fund-raising for the THT WalkForLife, a event that raises essential funds for a great HIV charity. I’ve tweeted dozens of celebrities (gay and straight) as well as numerous organisations asking for their support – both in sponsorship and retweets, only two have retweeted me so far.

They seem happy to re-tweet appeals for sponsorship for cancer, or birthday wishes – but I’ve not seen a single re-tweet (of mine, or anyone else’s) about HIV.  Is one click on the re-tweet button too much effort? Do they think they’re going to scare away their hundreds of thousands of followers with a single tweet about a HIV charity? I’m finding it frustrating beyond words. That one click could generate hundreds of pounds of much needed revenue for a very worthy cause.

So far, over the 12 days that I have been fund-raising 13  awesome people have donated an amazing £440.
But that’s 13 out of 1,356 followers. If everybody donated £1 that would be £1,356 I’d raised, if everyone donated £5 that would total £6,780 for THT.

Please, whether you’re a celebrity or a normal minion like me donate what you can – I’ve already paid my £15 registration and my train fares to London, and click that RT button. It’s free. It’s instant and it can help those people who need THT‘s support.

My Sponsorship page

Thank you.



  1. Sam, I feel your frustration. I’ve been fundraising for the last six months for a charity that has at least two very well known celebs as its President and ambassador. Both are active Twitter users – neither have retweeted for me despite several requests. It is a children’s based charity and my sister lost my baby niece unexpectedly which is my inspiration.

    I will add that not a single Twitter “friend” ie someone I don’t know in real life, has donated a penny. I tell you this to try and make you feel better. I’ve found it upsetting and frustrating but that’s people for you. Very insular and charity always begins at home. Good luck xx

    • I agree, one of the supporters/patrons of THT is a very high profile TV Doctor, and a gay one at that. He’s very big on Twitter, and I’ve asked him a couple of times for a retweet – and nothing. I’m not asking for his time, or his money (though I’m sure he could spare a couple of quid), just 2 seconds to click that RT button and spread the message. Sigh. x

      • Doctors are fickled individuals anyway. I always thought that one was a bit of a snob. Not to worry, I’ve RT you and have passed your link around to people on multiple platforms, so with any luck, your donations might go up a tiny bit.

  2. That IS strange. I admit that I did not RT at first either, and perhaps that is worse because I can’t even remember a reason not to do so. 😛 Fixed that now, for sure.

    I think people not RTing is partly unwillingness to acknowledge the issue (because it’s mainly to do with sex, and we all know sex is something dirty to be avoided *eyeroll*) and partly just… not noticing it in the information feed that is Twitter, like I didn’t. I’m genuinely sorry about that.

    You can bet I’ll be supporting your THT Walk. Not because you made me feel guilty (please don’t think that), but because it’s a worthy cause I should have paid attention to earlier than just now. I don’t care if, like the cynic in me says, it doesn’t really make a difference; it COULD, and that’s what matters. Because at least people made the effort, they tried.

    I’ve been following you since you started your blog and, on the risk of sounding trite, I admire your willingness to put yourself out there to show that the only difference between “us normal people” and HIV+ people is the tiny little -/+. (Augh, hope that didn’t sound condescending, I seriously appreciate your writing the blog.)

    Much love to you.


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