Season 2
Episode 28

Full Metal Jackie: forging truth into power

July 13, 2023
Host, James Watson hosts Gozitan artist, and HIV activist Jackie Roberts. Jackie shares her journey of living with HIV, challenging HIV stigma, and finding her power through activism, and art. Tune in for inspiration and insight into embracing one's truth.

Join host James Watson as he sits down with Gozitan artist, and HIV activist, Jackie Roberts. This British-born powerhouse has an extraordinary story to tell. For over two decades, Jackie has called the Maltese Island of Gozo home. Born in '62, she's faced intensely difficult challenges, including discrimination, stigma, and isolation. But in 2020, everything changed. Jackie found her voice, joining forces with local HIV activists as a passionate volunteer at Checkpoint Malta.

Jackie takes us on a journey of resilience and self-discovery. She opens up about her experiences, sharing how living openly with HIV has become a source of empowerment and strength. Prepare to be inspired as she unveils the transformative power of looking inward, and embracing one's truth.

Our episode guest

Jackie Roberts

Artist & passionate HIV activist, living the island life!

Introducing Jackie: an incredible artist and impassioned HIV activist. British-born in '62, she's called sunny Gozo home for 20 years. With a richly diverse career path, she found her passion in art, specializing in metal and mixed media. Living with HIV for 24 years, Jackie has faced a multitude of challenges including discrimination and stigma. In 2020, she sought help from local activists and that connection opened the door to greater personal resilience. She now volunteers at Checkpoint Malta as a member of the Board of Directors where she supports community HIV testing, promotes sexual health, and challenges HIV stigma at every turn. Jackie is living a happier, freer life, inspired by "brazenly living with HIV.” Through art and activism, she breaks barriers, raises awareness and spreads hope.

5 questions for Jackie...

Logic or emotion? Emotion

Test the waters or dive in the deep end? Dive in deep

Go to school or teach yourself? Teach myself

Explore space or the ocean? The ocean

Morning or evening? Morning

Through art and activism, Jackie Roberts raises awareness, spreads hope. Let's join her journey to embrace truth, defy odds, and make a difference—

Just as she bends and shapes raw materials into stunning artworks, Jackie has forged her own path in the face of adversity. Like the metal she molds, Jackie's resilience and creativity have transformed her experience with HIV, enabling her to transcend stigma and empower others. Her art becomes a testament to the transformative power of embracing one's truth and living life to the fullest. Delve deeper into Jackie's art, process, and meaning on Facebook.

I am brazenly living with HIV...
Rising Above Stigma and Empowering Others

Jackie's journey on Gozo shows us how she conquered the stigma and misinformation surrounding HIV. She's not just fighting for herself but also uplifting others in the process. By openly sharing her story and embracing her truth, she's become a beacon of strength, inspiring a tight-knit and powerful community.

Filling the Gaps When the Government Falls Short

When it comes to sexual health and HIV, the government in Malta has left some pretty big gaps. That's where NGOs like Checkpoint Malta step in. They're on a mission to provide crucial support, information, and testing events to those who need it most. They're the community superheroes, picking up the slack and making a real difference.

Embracing Inclusion and Intersectionality

Jackie understands that true progress in HIV advocacy means embracing everyone's experiences and challenges. Women, in particular, have their own unique struggles, and Jackie is determined to give them a voice. She's all about breaking stereotypes and making sure that people aging with HIV are included in healthcare initiatives and trials. It's all about unity and support for Jackie and her crew.

Be sure to check out more, follow, and connect with Jackie via Checkpoint Malta on Facebook; as well as visiting the HIV Malta website, Instagram, and Twitter.

Please click here to review our social and commenting terms of use.

We love hearing from our listeners so drop us a line! Also let us know if you are interested being a guest on the Podcast. If you have any comments or questions or ideas for new episodes please email

Never miss an episode,
subscribe and stay up to date

Stay up to date

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Stay in touch

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum