Wow. What a month!
This World AIDS Day, SSAC joined forces with over 60 NGOs across the UK to deliver the ‘Why Stop Now?’ campaign, which called for the UK government to renew its leadership on HIV and AIDS by developing a blueprint that maps out how they plan to respond to the epidemic here in the UK and globally.
Since its launch, all you lovely Stop AIDers have wasted no time in teaming up with other uni societies to create a whirlwind of exciting campaigning activities!! In addition to bake sales, workshops and film screenings, we’ve had awareness-raising club nights, dance flash-mobs, and jazz events! We’ve seen some brilliant campaigning ideas – such as Edinburgh’s awesome blue handprint idea and UCL’s Positively Red Week. We haven’t received the final number of action cards collected on the ground, but so far, we have passed the 1,000 mark 🙂
There has also been quite a bit of noise happening online too! Alongside getting nearly 1,000 online sign-ups for the campaign, we’ve seen some amazing photos being posted across Facebook and Twitter. The London Group, Sheffield and Dundee have put together fantastic campaigning videos. We must have created quite a buzz as our campaign caught the eye of a few celebs too, including Stephen Fry!
Here in London, we braved the wet and windy weather to join other activists outside Parliament Square, to ask the UK government, ‘Why Stop Now?’. Our stunt even caught the attention of Jack Straw who came over to chat about the campaign…
The week leading up to World AIDS Day, the SSAC Team took to the streets, armed with cupcakes, to invite MPs to show their support. Clearly, the baked goods had some effect as we had over 53 MPs who popped in to hear more about the campaign and have their photo taken with us 🙂
That evening, SSAC were invited to join a panel discussion in Parliament with RT Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development, where we listened to some inspirational speeches from a variety of perspectives. My personal fav was Winnie SSeruma who warned the Minister that ‘cuts in funding will see us losing some really fragile gains’.
Although the Minister emphasised that the UK government are committed to achieving the 3 zeros – ‘zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths’, they have yet to release a blueprint that clearly maps out how this will be achieved. So – there is still work to be done!!
But for now – take a breather, be proud of all the hard work you have put into achieving what we have so far, and watch this AMAZING video from Dundee… 🙂