PRESS CUTTINGS: West End Bares 2016

It was a Knight like no other – West End Bares: EXCALIBARE highlights – Gay Times

Why can’t we have Graham Norton’s job? It was a Knight like no other — Sorry — EXCALIBARE brought the house down with an incredible show. Broadcaster Graham Norton, Samantha Bond, Michelle Visage and David Bedella joined a host of exceedingly talented performers on stage at the Novello Theatre last night for the seventh annual West End …


In photos: Graham Norton, Samantha Bond and more at West End Bares


Images released from West End Bares: EXCALIBARE

Graham Norton, Samantha Bond, Michelle Visage and David Bedella alongside a host of performers at the Novello Theatre last night for West End Bares.


Photo Flash: WEST END BARES Is ‘Bigger and Barer Than Ever Before’

Graham Norton, Samantha Bond, Michelle Visage and David Bedella alongside a host of performers took to the stage of the Novello Theatre last night for the seventh annual West End Bares, raising money for MAD Trust.


Gallery: West End Bares 2016

MAD Trust’s biggest and barest event yet, West End Bares 2016, brought a touch of the medieval to the Novello Theatre last night.


Seventh Annual West End Bares – A Knight Like No Other

A host of West End performers took to the stage at London’s Novello Theatre for the 7th Annual West End Bares.

Hosted by Graham Norton, Samantha Bond, David Bedella and Michelle Visage, the evening called Excalibare raised money for the MAD Trust – a UK-based charity with a vision of a world free from HIV and AIDS.

We hope you enjoy these great images from the night on our website:


In photos Graham Norton
In photos Graham Norton


Gallery West End Bares 2016
Gallery West End Bares










Michelle Visage joins West End Bares: Exalibare!


We are delighted to announce Ru Paul’s Drag Race judge and Diva herself, Michelle Visage will return and perform at this Sunday’s West End Bares.

Following his triumphant appearance last year, Graham Norton will once again host this year’s extravaganza joined by co-hosts, Ramin Karimloo (Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies), Gina Beck (Showboat, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera) and Ben Freeman (The Rocky Horror Show, Happy Days, Legally Blonde, Wicked).


This year’s show will feature performances by double Olivier award-winner David Bedella (Jerry Springer The Opera, In The Heights, The Rocky Horror Show) and West End leading lady Summer Strallen (Top Hat, The Sound of Music, Hollyoaks). The full company features over 100 of the hottest and most exciting performers from the West End and beyond, including cast members from Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dreamgirls, Funny Girl, Kinky Boots, Mary Poppins, Motown and Wicked.

WEST END BARES 2016: EXCALIBARE! is this Sunday 25th September at 7.00pm and 9.30pm. This year’s show, promises to be an epic adventure, bringing the medieval tales to life like never before.

Book your tickets HERE.

Prince Harry’s HIV test inspired a 400% increase in people checking their status, says charity THT

Prince Harry’s live HIV test led to a five-fold increase in requests for home testing kids, an HIV charity has revealed.

The Terrence Higgins Trust described the effect of the prince’s social media appeal as a “groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV ”.

The charity was running a pilot scheme offering people the chance to find out their status by sending off for a 15-minute HIV self-testing kit when Harry sat down for his test on Thursday July 14.

And on that day and the following day they experienced requests of around 150 BioSure tests per day in contrast to the 32 orders they took on July 12.

READ the full article here

NHS in England can legally fund Prep – the High Court has said – a drug that can prevent HIV campaigners call “game changing”

The High Court has told the NHS in England it can fund a drug that can prevent HIV – after health bosses argued it was not their responsibility.
NHS England previously said councils should provide the pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) drug as they are in charge of preventative health.

This stance was successfully challenged by the National Aids Trust (NAT).
But the High Court ruling does not make funding of Prep automatic and the NHS is set to appeal.

The ruling by Mr Justice Green said health bosses had “erred” in arguing it was not their responsibility.
‘Reduce HIV risk’

NHS England has already announced it will appeal the ruling – and even if that goes against health bosses it is not a given that Prep will be considered effective enough to warrant NHS funding.
To determine that, NHS England has announced it will carry out a review of the evidence on Prep while it awaits a Court of Appeal hearing.

HIV drug row: A very modern dilemma for the NHS
Using Prep has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by 86%.
The once-a-day pill, which costs £400 a month per person, works by disabling the virus to stop it multiplying.
It is currently used in the US, Canada, Australia and France to help protect the most at-risk gay men.

Click here to view the full story on the BBC website

Day Two of AIDS 2016: Women and girls, new prevention research, stigma and discrimination

“What a Girl Wants” was the title of a Tuesday Special Session at AIDS 2016, and understanding what HIV prevention tools and information girls and young women want and need, and how to provide them, is a continuing theme at the conference. Throughout AIDS 2016 we are reminded — and are reminding the world — of the enormous impact of HIV on adolescent girls and young women, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS 2016 symposia sessions on the impact of HIV on adolescent girls and young women, and how to reverse it, featured The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) leader Ambassador Deborah Birx, humanitarian and former South African Frist Lady Graça Machel, actor and activist Charlize Theron, Global Fund chief Mark Dybul, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and other towering figures in the fight to achieve female health and empower girls and women to stay safe from HIV. The sessions gave voice to a growing global consensus that prioritizing the needs of girls and young women is essential to saving lives and ending AIDS.

Maintaining the spotlight on HIV in times of political upheaval, budget shortfalls, and new epidemics such as Ebola was another Tuesday conference theme, with sessions and media events offering strategies for keeping HIV treatment and prevention moving forward in the face of earthquakes, armed conflicts, the refugee crisis, and a decline in donor funding that advocates called “unprecedented in the history of the AIDS response.”

Justice Edwin Cameron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the first senior South African official to state publicly that he was living with HIV, received a standing ovation when he gave the lecture named for pioneering AIDS researcher and advocate Dr. Jonathan Mann at Tuesday’s plenary session. Cameron, whose stirring talk included a frank acknowledgement of the impact of HIV stigma on his own life, paid tribute to South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), praised the national effort that has made antiretroviral treatment (ART) accessible to more than 3.1 million South Africans, and brought the house down when he invited sex workers, transgender people, and lesbians and gay men from Africa and the Caribbean to take the stage and share the Jonathan Mann honour with him.

One of the most encouraging elements of AIDS 2016 is the strength of research presented here on progress in HIV prevention. Incoming IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker christened AIDS

2016 as “the dawn of the global PrEP era,” and encouraged delegates to move science into practice for people at risk for HIV, especially key populations. Final results from the Partners Demonstration showed the near elimination of HIV transmission among serodiscordant couples with PrEP and ART, while a number of other studies offered new insights on PrEP uptake, acceptability and adherence.

Participants at AIDS 2016 also heard results from HVTN 100, a South African study of a modified version of the RV144 regimen, the only HIV vaccine regimen to show efficacy to date. HVTN 100 adapted the RV144 regimen to make it specific to the southern Africa’s Clade C HIV subtype, changed the adjuvant to elicit a more powerful immune response, and added a booster to prolong protection. The successful study provided the green light for a larger efficacy trial of the improved regimen, which, if successful, could lead to a licensed HIV vaccine in South Africa and the world’s first preventive HIV vaccine.

90-90-90 provides a useful framework and an ambitious set of targets for measuring progress towards achieving HIV diagnosis, referral to treatment and viral suppression – the three pillars of efforts to slow and ultimately stop the epidemic. In the session “Measuring Progress Towards 90-90-90,” presenters contrasted efforts and progress towards the goal across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. While each setting presents different opportunities and challenges, one striking similarity across the countries appears to be the comparative challenge of engaging men and adolescents in testing. More detailed reports on this and many other sessions from Tuesday, and throughout the conference week, are available on the AIDS 2016 Rapporteur Summary page.

Finally, the detrimental impact on the HIV response of laws that criminalize homosexuality, and punish sex workers, drug users and people living with HIV, has long been decried by health workers and advocates. But the appearance on the AIDS 2016 stage of high-ranking political figures working to repeal these laws may represent a turning point in the effort to make these regressive statutes a part of history. Strategizing in an AIDS 2016 Symposium on Tuesday on building the political will to overturn such laws was U.S. Congressperson Barbara Lee, Justice Zak Yacoob of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, and former Presidents Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Ruth Dreifuss of Switzerland. We hope their words in Durban will echo through the corridors of power worldwide.

For more details and scientific highlights, click here

with an HIV positive partner, a study showed on Tuesday, raising hopes of reducing HIV rates among one of Africa’s highest risk groups… The results were announced on Tuesday at the Durban International AIDS Conference in South Africa, where delegates are discussing the U.N. target of ending AIDS as a global health crisis by 2030.

Sex workers continue call for decriminalisation at Aids conference
The Witness

With estimates that 77% of sex workers in Durban are HIV-positive, local and foreign sex workers on Monday called on delegates at the 2016 International Aids Conference to decriminalise sex work.

New HIV vaccine to be trialed in South Africa

CNN (video available here)

A vaccine against HIV will be trialed in South Africa later this year after meeting the criteria needed to prove it could help fight the epidemic in Africa. In 2015, 2.1 million new infections were reported — two-thirds of which occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. A small trial, known as HVTN100, took place in South Africa in 2015 to test the safety and strength of immunity the vaccine could provide, ahead of any larger-scale testing in affected populations….The results were presented on Tuesday at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

¿Se puede curar el sida?

ABC (Spain)
La pregunta es ¿se puede curar el sida? Desde hace unos años ese es el objetivo de los científicos y en 2014 la Sociedad Internacional de SIDA (IAS) presentó una Estrategia Científica Global ‘Hacia una Cura del VIH 2016’ en la que se marcaban las directrices para alcanzar este objetivo. Ahora, en vísperas de la 21ª Conferencia Internacional sobre el SIDA (AIDS 2016) que se celebra en Durban, Sudáfrica, la IAS presenta una versión 2.0 de su estrategia global.

Researchers warn of no quick HIV cure

Agence France Presse
Researchers on Tuesday praised progress made towards developing an HIV cure, but said it was impossible to tell when or even if a cure for the devastating epidemic would be found. Some 18,000 delegates from around the world have converged on the coastal city of Durban for the 21st International AIDS Conference where the latest advances in research are being presented.

TMAD – Beginners Ballroom Dance Class With Robin Windsor

Robin Winsdor, Star of Strictly Come dancing, will be taking a one hour ballroom dance class as a charity event to raise money for TheatreMAD – The make a Difference Trust.
The class is for same sex and mixed couples and is aimed at people new to ballroom dancing who would like to take their first lesson.
please note that here are limited spaces for the class so please book early.

BOOK HERE for an experience of a lifetime!