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Drag queen Panti Bliss and fitness coach Taofique Folarin share tips to stay happy and healthy at home – WATCH

This year, it's important to keep planning for your long-term health and happiness - especially if you're living with HIV.

By Will Stroude

This article is part of the My HIV, My Rules, My Journey campaign, a disease awareness programme that has been developed and funded by Gilead Sciences Ltd.

In a year where many of us have spent most of our time indoors, it’s become even more important that we look after ourselves.

For those living with HIV especially, the importance of safeguarding physical and mental wellbeing is even more pronounced these days, and this is why Panti Bliss and Taofique Folarin have teamed up to create some useful ‘toolbox’ tips.

After mastering the art of the video call, Panti, aka Ireland’s most famous drag queen, has reunited with fitness coach Taofique after last year’s HIV GARAGE series; part of the My HIV, My Rules, My Journey campaign, which raised awareness of annual health assessments available to people living with HIV.

Their latest video is part of the new Health at Home Toolboxes series to support people living with HIV to continue to look after their mental and physical health while at home – whether that be by practicing your downward dog, or treating yourself to some tender loving care.

In the latest video Taofique reveals how planning a simple daily checklist can help people plan ahead and stay on top of their long-term health.

“Planning my daily checklist has totally helped me stay focused and on track when I’m at home,”, he explains. “2020 is proof that we just don’t know what’s around the corner, but we’ve been given some time at home to think about our health a little more.

“Taking the time to keep yourself organised can go a long way to reducing anxiety and helping [to] improve your mental and physical well-being.”

He adds: “I like to journal to process how I’m feeling and also to set new goals and plan for a happy and healthy future.”

Former Attitude Pride Award winner Panti adds: “If you’re like me, getting Taofique’s home address is probably near the top of your to-do list – but another thing that should also be right up there is speaking to your HIV healthcare team about your long-term health.

“There are lots of tests available, you can use the Health MOT to help you plan ahead and live your best life with HIV.”

If you’re living with HIV, take the Health MOT to create a personalised checklist of health topics to discuss with your doctor.

December 2020, UK-HIV-2020-11-0086