Monday 1st December marked the 26th World AIDS Day and this year’s is a particularly important one for us in the UK. We have the tools and the diversity of experience to end AIDS all we are missing is the political will. With the UK elections coming up in May it is critical that we get UK parliamentarians to put their political clout behind the AIDS response if we want to see an end to the epidemic in our lifetime.
This year STOPAIDS launched the #DontStop campaign to do just this. The UK has made some phenomenal contributions to getting the AIDS response to where it is now. Today we have 13.6 million people accessing treatment compared to just 700,000 a decade ago and AIDS related deaths have fallen by 38% in 2001! But our work is far from over…there are still 16 million people not on treatment, only 24% of children who need ARVs are accessing them and there remains around 1.5 million AIDS related deaths each year. This is why we want to send a message to the UK government telling them #DontStop the good work! Check out the pics from our amazing student campaigners who bought this message to the people this World AIDS Day.
A group of 15 returned volunteers from Restless Development’s ICS programme in Zambia came down for an ‘access to medicines day’ in the capital on Monday. The group had been working on SRHR programmes in Zambia and were keen to get stuck into some Student Stop AIDS campaigning. After an ‘access to medicines workshop’ in the morning we hit South Bank for some street campaigning getting people to tweet #DontStop to their MPs in return for a red ribbon. We ended up by Westminster bridge where we met Diarmaid with the banner and quickly got going blowing up helium balloons. After the stunt we hurried off to parliament for the launch of the APPG report on access to medicines in developing countries and listened to a hard hitting panel discuss the issue. Thanks everyone for coming down 🙂
Conrad and friends raised awareness on campus at Sussex University about the access to treatment gap and made a human red ribbon.
Alice and Beth ran a Student Stop AIDS Campaign stall getting people to tweet to their local MP Ben P Bradshaw saying #DontStop until AIDS, TB and Malaria are over!
Once again the super brave Callum Todd plunged himself into the freezing North Sea to raise money for ImpactAIDS – amazing stuff Callum! The society also put on their annual CabarAIDS event – a night of entertainment to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS to Edinburgh Students.
Newcastle is one of our new groups this year so a super massive well done to Lotte Elton and co who manned a stall selling red ribbons and raising over £80!
The Manchester crew ran a stall and posed some questions to passers by about the amount of investment that HIV research gets in comparison with male pattern baldness. They also gave out information about local testing centres and attended an evening HIV vigil in Manchester City Centre.