First HIV-themed bus for Brighton & Hove

First HIV-themed bus for Brighton & Hove

One of only a handful of HIV-themed public buses in the world, and the only one in Brighton & Hove, will be launched this weekend (Saturday 5 October).

Brighton & Hove Buses, the city’s Martin Fisher Foundation and local illustrator Daniel Locke worked together to design and wrap a bus to encourage people to have an HIV test and get treatment if they need it, while tackling some of the myths and stigma that still surround HIV.

The bus is named after Professor Martin Fisher, an outstanding international leader in the field of HIV research and patient care, who built a world-class service in Brighton and was widely loved and respected. Martin sadly died in 2015.

The panels inside the bus talk about Martin’s life, recent advances in HIV treatment and the Foundation’s campaign to boost HIV testing rates and decrease stigma. The bus is emblazoned with purple Queen of the Night tulips, Martin’s favourite flower.

Martin Fisher Foundation Trustee Dr Gill Dean said: “This bus will ensure positive messages about HIV are seen by all, every day throughout Brighton & Hove. This bus is an eye-catching public message with the aim of stopping the stigma surrounding people living with HIV, as well as encouraging people to get tested. What we really want to get across to people is that HIV isn’t scary anymore!”

It’s a message close to Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris’ heart. In 1988 he broke new ground when he wrote one of the first myth-busting AIDS and HIV factsheets in the transport industry to counter the misinformation being spread by the national press at the time.

Martin said the new bus was a continuation of this effort to highlight inaccurate information still out there around HIV, while acknowledging the significant progress made in patient care and treatment.

Martin said: “This new bus is testament to Martin Fisher’s amazing determination and his incredible success in transforming patient care for people living with HIV. I know the people he helped remember him as someone that kept on fighting for them, even when they were too exhausted to fight for themselves.

“We’re proud to be part of the Martin Fisher Foundation’s campaign to encourage people to get tested, get treated and live well. Nobody should feel marginalised or alone with HIV.”

You’re invited to the Professor Martin Fisher bus launch

When: 1pm to 3pm on Saturday 5 October at The Plaza, by the Peace Statue, Hove Lawns

1-2pm: Join us and other local HIV charities

2pm: First bus tour leaves the Peace Statue and sets off on a short seafront tour, guided by artist Dan Locke

2.45pm: Second bus tour leaves the Peace Statue and follows the same route

The Martin Fisher Foundation was founded in 2015 to take forward Martin’s work by promoting his ethos of treating people living with HIV with dignity, compassion and respect. The charity’s vision is to eliminate new HIV cases within a generation, by increasing HIV testing, improving knowledge of HIV, increasing availability PrEP and reducing HIV stigma in Brighton and Hove.

For further information, or to book a place on the bus, please contact Sarah Evans or 07792 389 157