During tonight’s episode of The Tommy Tiernan Show, the comedian was joined by homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry, HIV activist Robbie Lawlor, and David and Bríd McGowan, a father and daughter who are funeral directors.
As is the norm, all of the guests had some extraordinary and interesting stories to tell but Robbie Lawlor’s discussion about HIV was incredibly educational and moving too.
While speaking with Tiernan, Lawlor said that after engaging in unprotected sex, he went for his first check at the age of 21.
Sadly, he was diagnosed with HIV.
During the conversation, Lawlor gave an extremely interesting and detailed insight into the biological traits associated with HIV and how it’s transferable within bodily fluids.
Candid, informative, and engaging, Lawlor’s story captivated Tiernan and to Tiernan’s credit, he was extremely curious to learn more about the subject of HIV and openly said that he wasn’t fully informed about it.
On a more personal level, Lawlor’s honest and open approach to discussing the moments when he had to tell his former partners that he was HIV positive was extremely moving.
Aside from this, the Dubliner educated viewers by articulately discussing the symptoms and treatments available for those that have been diagnosed with HIV.
Most importantly, he provided a message of hope and positivity for anyone that might be currently experiencing what he went through.
Significantly, he reminded people that medical care is available and it’s important to be educated on all aspects of sexual education.
“I know men and women – on the first time they had sex – got HIV. Because it only takes one time to get HIV and I don’t want to scare people but that’s the reality for so many people across Ireland.
“We have this idea that people living with HIV are highly promiscuous and who cares if they are? Like, I know highly promiscuous people that are very good at using condoms too. We have to dismantle that image that only promiscuous people get HIV. There’s a lot of unlearning that we have to do collectively because HIV rates have never been higher in Ireland than they are today. We get around 500 new diagnosis each year, which is one of the highest in Europe and that’s due to lack of education,” he said.
Aside from this, Lawlor’s message which encouraged people to get themselves regularly tested was extremely welcome too, especially since sexual health is still deemed to be a taboo subject by some.
At present, Lawlor is healthy and studying for his PhD. He’s also using his own experiences to educate the next generation because he gives educational talks to adolescents in an effort to help them improve their knowledge of sex education.
After watching the interview, plenty of viewers all felt that Lawlor’s interview was extremely educational and necessary.
Simon Harris remarked: “Thank you, Robbie Lawlor. A brilliant interview on The Tommy Tiernan Show. Educational, honest and real. You will have helped so many and indeed helped us all in terms of understanding and knowledge of HIV”
“Loving Robbie Lawlor on with Tommy Tiernan. Educating and pushing the conversation around HIV and sexual health overall. Really, we are still very much in the dark in Ireland on sexual health… soo much more to be done,” and “Robbie Lawlor is a fantastic guest on The Tommy Tiernan Show. Engaging, talking in very clear non-scientific language, and debunking multiple myths,” were two of the comments made.
Elsewhere, Olympian and athlete David Gillick said: “I have just learned more about HIV & AIDS in the last 10 minutes than ever before from the great chat between Robbie Lawlor and Tommy Tiernan.”
This viewer really did put it best when they said: “Just learned more about HIV and AIDS in 5 mins here than I ever did in school and college combined.”