A Dundee councillor has shaved her head in a bid to remove the stigma around sexually transmitted diseases.
Lynne Short raised more than £1,000 for HIV and sexual health charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), after braving the shave on Friday afternoon.
Niki Brand from Hush Hair was on hand to lop off her long locks at the V&A museum.
Fundraiser to tackle stigma
The SNP councillor says she hopes the fundraising event will promote good sexual health and empower those living with HIV.
Ms Short told The Courier: “For a long time, it was very stigmatised for people to talk about mental health, and now mental health is something people are very aware of.
“But we still don’t talk about our sexual health.”
Ms Short has long supported the work of Terrence Higgins Trust, which provides HIV and STI testing in Dundee, Glasgow, Ayrshire, and Lanarkshire.
She regularly makes use of its drop-in sexual health testing clinics, which she says should be treated the same way as check-ups at the dentist and opticians.
Ms Short made the “spontaneous” decision to take part in the charity’s Big Shave Off campaign after seeing an advert on Facebook.
She said: “I saw an advert on Facebook last week, and I thought: ‘Right, I’m just going to do it.
“‘Why not? It’ll grow back.'”
She added: “This is to support people who may not necessarily be in a position to do it themselves.
“If it means that I lose a few inches of hair then so be it.”
Ms Short, who represents Maryfield, is one of a number of fundraisers taking part in the Big Shave Off event, which marks 40 years since the Terrence Higgins Trust started supporting those with HIV.
Jimmy Hunter, health promotion specialist at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We’re hugely grateful to Lynne and everyone who came along to cheer her on and support Terrence Higgins Trust.
“It’s amazing to see those in politics showing solidarity with us — a far cry from the early days of the [HIV] epidemic when so many didn’t take it seriously enough.”
To donate to Lynne’s fundraiser, visit her Just Giving page.