National HIV Testing Week

1511181_10152526830108526_8746342886103454404_nThe Yorkshire Bears, renowned for their wild all-night parties are not afraid to face their social duties head on too. A number of our members helped Yorkshire Mesmac  and the Terence Higgins Trust (THT) during the National HIV Testing Week to help raise awareness HIV and people’s HIV status.

The bears, were briefed prior to heading out into the wintry nights around the Leeds gay scene making punters of the bars aware of services that are available from Mesmac, including their very popular ‘Testing Times’ a fast and efficient method of finding your HIV status with a simple test that gives results back in a very speedy 20 minutes of a person’s HIV status twelve weeks ago.

Many people, male and female confessed to not knowing their status and said they would be pleased to find out. For this, Mesmac offered Testing Times until 9pm all week in their fabulous and spacious new premises right in the heart of Gay Leeds at 22/23 Blayds Yard, LS1 4AD. Although not officially open until January, the new base will make it so much easier for the LGBT community of Leeds to access the services that Mesmac offer.

To culminate the week, Yorkshire Bears member Greg Baugh, hosted a fund-raising screening of the wonderful ‘Wild Combination’ a moving and poignant documentary about the underrated and not widely-known musician Arthur Russell, a talented experimental musician/composer, called ‘Pop’s eclectic outsider’ by The Guardian who sadly died of AIDS related illnesses in 1992. P1290021-1600

The film was shown at Wharf Chambers, a not for profit co-operative, not dissimilar to a student union bar with a ‘function room’ at the back. The drinks are extremely cheap and the coffee was delicious, well worth a visit if you like things (very) cheap and cheerful. Over 30 people attended the screening, and a very impressive £117 was raised for Yorkshire Mesmac – so well done Greg for hosting a great event and raising valuable funds for the  sterling service that they provide for sexual health throughout Yorkshire.P1290034-1600

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