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Host a free play in your venue and help to confront HIV stigma in Greater Manchester

Wed, 29/08/2018

I Am Because We Are


“Let us give publicity to HIV and not hide it.” Nelson Mandela

In a suburb in Stockport, a husband and wife hide their medication from one another. A young woman in Harare, Zimbabwe refuses to speak to her sister on the phone. A hospital nurse wears five pairs of gloves to treat a patient, no explanation given. If HIV is no longer a death sentence, why are we so scared of it?

I am because we are is a play based on the testimonies of people living with HIV in Manchester today. Written by playwright and poet Cheryl Martin (Manchester Evening News award winner, Polari Prize nominee), it looks past urban myths to tell the human stories of daily life with the disease.


BHA for Equality and Contact in Manchester have been funded by Public Health England to create a new play exploring the complex realities surrounding HIV-related stigma within BME communities. I Am Because We Are will tour across seven Greater Manchester boroughs and aims to reach audiences who may not respond to conventional methods of addressing stigma and HIV prevention.

Greater Manchester has poor outcomes for HIV, including a high late diagnosis rate. Across the UK, Black African men and women make up 1.8% of the UK’s population but 34% of those diagnosed with HIV. I Am Because We Are
gives voice to those living with HIV in order to combat stigma, encourage testing and foster acceptance.

They are looking for venues to host the play for one-off performances from 8th – 21st October 2018, and to invite the groups and communities you work with to see it. All you need is a space for the performance, be it large or small – we will bring the cast, technical equipment and deliver the show (as well as post-show discussions if you would like them). The performance will last approximately one hour.

If you would be interested in hosting I Am Because We Are, e-mail Contact’s Health and Science Producer Chloe Courtney to find out more on chloecourtney@contactmcr.com or emma@thebha.org.uk