Robbie served as the inaugural interviewee for my documentary on People Living with HIV (PLHIV). Having studied Zoology at UCD, Robbie underwent his first sexual health check just before embarking on a job opportunity in Australia. The clinic assured him that no news within two weeks meant a clean bill of health. However, three weeks later, Robbie received the life-altering diagnosis of being HIV positive, shaking the foundation of his world with distress and fear. At that time, he admitted, “I didn’t even know HIV existed in Ireland,” and his understanding of the difference between HIV and AIDS was limited, leading to concerns about the potential progression to AIDS.

Since his diagnosis in 2012, Robbie has been actively involved in the HIV community. He played a crucial role in establishing a peer support network and took on the role of an event organizer within the social group organization Plus Friends. Additionally, he co-founded Act Up Dublin and Access to Medicines Ireland. His recent projects focus on raising awareness about HIV, advocating for access to PREP, and educating the public about U=U (undetectable equals non-transmissible). Robbie’s commitment to furthering his understanding of the field led him to complete a Master’s in Sexuality Studies.

Robbie Lawlor is pursuing a PhD at Dublin City University and is a prominent presenter on the award-winning podcast POZVIBE. His journey is a testament to resilience, activism, and a dedication to fostering awareness and understanding around HIV-related issues.