world-aids-day-w

For Immediate Release – World AIDS Day events launch year of civil disobedience for the HIV+ rights

WORLD AIDS DAY w.jpg

For Immediate Release – World AIDS Day events launch year of civil disobedience for the HIV+ rights.

A number high profile HIV+ and human rights advocates will launch a year of protest against the cuts to HIV services, absence of PREP provision, and NHS crackdown, which is leading to a resurgence of the HIV epidemic in the UK. World AIDS Day 2016, on Thursday 1 December, will be marked with a demonstration in Trafalgar Square to call for a long overdue AIDS memorial to be built in London.

Ash Kotak from the UK HIV/AIDS Memorial Project said:

ACT UP London is hosting a series of events and actions across London to mark Worlds AIDS Day 2016, remembering those who have been lost, whilst also speaking out that the crisis is far from over. Twenty-six major cities across the globe have AIDS memorials, including Moscow, Paris and Dublin, to name but a few. It’s unacceptable that the many lives lost to AIDS are not commemorated via a memorial in London – a city which has played a key role in the treatment activist movement and is situated in the UK which continues to have the second highest HIV rate in Western Europe. The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day, is “It is not over yet” and 2016 also marks the 50-year anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, so it is a just time to establish a National HIV/AIDS memorial in London.” (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/national-hiv-aids-memorial). 

‘ACT UP LONDON have teamed up with the UK publisher’s of David France’s How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS, out on 1st December,  and will screen France’s award-winning documentary of the same name – ‘How to Survive a Plague’, at two venues in London on the 29th and 1st December 2016. The legendary AIDS activist and ACT UP New York member, Peter Staley, a key figure in France’s film and book, will be in London and will open the World AIDS Day screening here.

There will also be the opportunity for the audience to engage in a post film Q&A discussion with a number of high profile HIV+ advocates. The discussion will focus on the rising xenophobic attitudes against migrants in the UK, the risks migrants face contracting HIV here in the UK, and actions which ordinary people can take to end racism, and challenge the societal structures which disempower migrants.


Ollie Lloyd-Houldey, a member of ACT UP London said:

At a time of rising infection rates in the UK and the scrapping of vital prevention and support services, these evenings will provide audience members with a unique insight into the historic courageous actions taken by those with HIV to gain access to effective treatment. Those attending will also gain the opportunity to discuss the factors which in the present day, place isolated, marginalised groups at increased risk to HIV transmission in the UK’. These events therefore speak of both the incredible progress realised in treating HIV, as well as the significant challenges that lie ahead in ending the epidemic here in the UK.”  

Edwin Sesange, Director of Out and Proud Diamond Group said:

Should the UK public and affected groups really have to campaign to have an AIDS memorial built in London? The UK is supposedly seen as a leader in HIV prevention, treatment and support around the world – yet, what HIV+ Black African, LGBTQI+ and other key marginalised and vulnerable groups face, is increasing stigmatisation, an increasingly xenophobic narrative from the tabloid press, in action from the UK government and no access to PREP. Its high time the UK stopped playing catch-up on HIV stigmatisation and prevention to the rest of the Europe.”

Karen Doyle, organiser with Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary said:

Over 30,000 people are detained in UK immigration detention centres every year, people who are not detained because of any crime, but for ‘administrative purposes’. People like Prossy N, a lesbian from Uganda who was detained before being brutally deported to Uganda where she now lives in hiding with failing health. But time and time again we have seen detainees and ex detainees rise up and defend each other from deportation, expose the truth about sexual abuse and brutality and demand justice. Right Now Prossy is fighting to return to the UK, on 3rd december thousands will surround Yarl’s Wood where the women inside will join us in a joint demonstration to get it and ALL detention centres shut down. The rise in racist and xenophobic attacks post brexit and the scapegoating of immigrants must be resisted on all fronts, that is the only way we can win against cuts and attacks on healthcare, housing and welfare because its that scapegoating which is the central divide and rule tactic of those in power.”

Contacts for events:

Twitter:           @ACTUP_LDN

Email:            Actuplondonfighttilltheend@gmail.com

Website(s):    actuplondon.wordpress.com/

              pharmagreedkills.com   

Phone:          Dan Glass – 07717811747

                     Ollie Lloyd-Houldey – 07907772187

Notes to editors:

The book and documentary, tell the powerful and profoundly moving story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease.

Events details:

The Glory – Tuesday 29th November 8pm – 8as, 281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS.

How to Survive A Plague’ film screening followed by ‘creative direct action’ Q&A with leading HIV+ advocates, ‘HIV Speed-dating’ and a surprise!

Suggested donations – £5 / Tickets available on the door.

Trafalgar Square remembrance and call for AIDS memorial – Thursday, 1st December, from noon (12.00 pm) – Trafalgar Square, London
World AIDS Day Vigil for all HIV+ deaths and call for AIDS memorial to be built in London.

Cinema Museum – Thursday 1st December, from 6.30pm (film starts at 7pm) – 2 Dugard Way, London SE11 4TH
‘How to Survive A Plague’ screening with an opening by the film’s protagonist Peter Staley from ACT UP New York, followed by Q&A with leading HIV+ advocates on ‘ending racism, HIV risk faced by migrants in UK, challenging societal structures which disempower migrants’. Tickets available on eventbrite here 

All money raised from donations/ticket sales goes to actions to support HIV+ and LGBTQI+ migrants and to shut down illegal detention centres.

HIV advocates, anti-racists groups and health organisations participating in stated events on Q&A panels:

Tabitha Ha – STOP AIDS

Apata Aderonke – African Rainbow Family

Edwin Sesange – Out and Proud Diamond Group

Silvia Petrerri – Positively UK

Dr. Priyanka Goel – RISE Partnership Manager at NAZ

Mare Tralla – ACT UP London

Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants

Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary

Dani Singer – LGBT+ Against Islamophobia

About ACT UP London:
ACT UP London is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic, along with the broader inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. Remembering that HIV & AIDS is foremost a political crisis, as well as a medical emergency, we will use every means possible to call out and contain this pandemic. We are STILL not silent!

Video

‘ARE YOU OVER AIDS ‘COS AIDS IS NOT OVER’ – ACT UP LONDON WORLD AIDS DAY 2016 Events

world-aids-day-w

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-15-52-19

ACT UP LONDON WORLD AIDS DAY 2016 Events

ARE YOU OVER AIDS ‘COS AIDS IS NOT OVER

1. The Glory – Tuesday 29th November 8pm – 8as, 281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS – sign up to the facebook event page here

How to Survive A Plague’ (2012, 109 mins) screening followed by a screening of ‘29 Years‘ (2016, 14 mins) followed by ‘creative direct action’ Q+A by leading HIV+ advocates, ‘HIV Speed-dating’ and a surprise!

‘On the occasion of the UK publication of David France’s important book, ‘How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS’ ACT UP LONDON and The Glory will be screening ‘How to Survive A Plague’ followed by a screening of ‘29 Years a film showing the hacktivism and international protests organised by ACT UP and other activists on April 1st 2016 – the 29th anniversary of ACT UP. There will be a Q+A with leading HIV+ advocates and then ‘HIV Speed Dating’!

Suggested donations – £5 / Tickets available on the door. All money raised goes to ‘Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary’ / ‘African Rainbow Family’ and ‘ACT UP LONDON’ actions to support HIV+ and LGBTQI+ migrants and to shut down illegal detention centres and to mobilise for the SHUTDOWNYARLSWOOD demonstration on 3.12.16.

If you would like to be involved or have a press request please email actuplondonfighttilltheend@gmail.com / www.actuplondon.wordpress.com

2. Trafalgar Square – Thursday 1st December from Noon

World AIDS Day Vigil for all HIV+ deaths and call to reverse austerity cuts around HIV prevention/support services and for an AIDS Memorial in London!

3. Cinema Museum – Thursday 1st December from 6pm (intro at 6.30pm / film starts at 7pm) – 2 Dugard Way, London SE11 4TH – £5 suggested donation – sign up to facebook event page here and please get your tickets ASAP here on the eventbrite page here – very limited spaces!

‘How to Survive A Plague’ Screening with an opening by the film’s protagonist Peter Staley from ACT UP NY.
‘On the occasion of the UK publication of David France’s important book, ‘How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS’ please come to a screening of ‘How to Survive A Plague’ with an opening by the film’s protagonist Peter Staley from ACT UP NY.

ACT UP is still an international access to medicines activism force 29 years on! There will be a screening of a short film ‘29 Years‘ which documents the hactivism and international protests of ACT UP which still continuing today. Trailer here

Followed by Q+A with leading HIV+ advocates ‘how can ordinary people take action on racism, and challenge the structures in society which disempower migrants and increase their risk to HIV?’ .

www.actuplondon.wordpress.com

ABOUT ‘HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE’ (www.surviveaplague.com/‘How to Survive A Plague’ is a vital documentary from director David France which traces the history of the AIDS activist coalitions ACT UP and TAG, whose radical initiatives and grassroots action broke crucial new ground in the fight against HIV in the 1980s and 1990s. The documentary grew out of the research David France embarked upon for his book of the same name, published in the UK and the US on World AIDS Day 2016. Copies of How to Survive a Plague will be on sale at this exclusive launch event.

‘A masterpiece of intimate storytelling with moral purpose’ – Andrew Solomon. ‘Epoch-making’ – Edmund White.

‘Both a great and an important book’ – Richard Russo.

TAKE ACTION THIS WORLD AIDS DAY 2016!

For World Aids Day 2016, join Act UP LONDON unite with all allies, affected friends and family to call for a long overdue AIDS memorial to be built in London. On this day, in the fourth decade of the global pandemic and continued epidemic in the UK, we also call on the UK government to get serious about preventing HIV and supporting affected individuals, and ending the stigma, silence and isolation of affected groups which is so prevalent here in the UK. In a time of rising infection rates in the UK, join us in Trafalgar Square at noon to remember those who have been lost and make a request to the government to reverse the punishing cuts made to local government budgets which are leading to the scrapping of vial HIV prevention and support services in the UK.

ABOUT ACT UP LONDON

ACT UP London is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic, along with the broader inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. Remembering that HIV & AIDS is foremost a political crisis, as well as a medical emergency, we will use every means possible to call out and contain this pandemic. We are STILL not silent!

TAKE ACTION THIS WORLD AIDS DAY 2016! – 
FIGHT AIDS NOT MIGRANTS! BRING BACK PROSSI! PREP FOR ALL! SAVE THE NHS!

 

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-15-53-05
screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-36-10

For Immediate Release – Protesters lay flowers for the dead on steps of Philippines Embassy – demand end to state-sponsored murders

For Immediate Release – Protesters lay flowers for the dead on steps of Philippines Embassy – demand end to state-sponsored murders

LONDON – 13th October 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-36-10 screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-36-32 screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-36-42

Protestors wearing white and carrying flowers staged a demonstration outside the Philippines Embassy in London yesterday calling for an end to the wave of murders which have taken place since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power in June.

Over 3500 people have become the victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines in the last four months following a pledge by the new President to “wipe out” drug users, urging the public to kill them and promising police immunity from prosecution for the deaths. The demonstrators handed in a letter to the embassy staff, calling on the government to bring an end to the killings, which they say brings shame on the country.

Drug user rights activist, Brun González, and Chair of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) said,

This state-sponsored campaign of murder is an international outrage. We are here to send a simple message to the government of the Philippines: it must end now.

Duterte is encouraging the police and public to drag people from their beds and shoot them in the street – he is brutally ending lives, destroying families and bringing global shame on his country. The killings must stop, and those responsible brought to justice.”

Duterte has made aggressive remarks to other state leaders and used extremely offensive and negative historical references as a standard mode of advocating in favour of his actions. But the campaign of violence, which he called for in his election campaign and initiated within hours of his victory, is the most controversial aspect of his leadership. Police officers have admitted the relentless series of killings are sanctioned and coordinated by the senior leadership.

Mare Tralla from HIV activist group ACTUP London said,

Drug users are amongst the most vulnerable people in a society and these killings are a barbaric attack on innocent life. These murders are horrific in and of themselves, but they will also hugely undermine HIV prevention efforts and lead to a hundreds of new infections and an increase in AIDS related deaths by driving people away from health services.”

The whole world is watching in disgust as the Filippino government dehumanises and attacks its own people. This is a stain on the nation and we call on them to put an end to these killings immediately.”

The protestors handed in a letter calling on Duterte to act, and laid blood stained flowers on the embassy steps. They also called on Theresa May and Boris Johnson to ensure the UK is doing all it can to end the violence.

### END ###

Contact:

Jay Levy – INPUD: 07990818720; jaylevy@inpud.net

Notes to Editors:

The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) is a global peer-based organisation that seeks to promote the health and defend the rights of people who use drugs.

ACT UP London is a diverse group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) UK is a grassroots network of young people advocating for better drug policies that protect and inform young people

Photos – Peter Marshall

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 13.46.57

For Immediate Release – Activists condemn Chevron’s hypocritical sponsorship of AIDS 2016 conference

For Immediate Release -22/07/16 – Activists condemn Chevron’s hypocritical sponsorship of AIDS 2016 conference

On the final day of AIDS 2016 in Durban today, activists staged a protest at the corporate booth of conference sponsor, Chevron. Holding posters showing images of the environmental and health disasters caused by the huge petro-chemical company, they demanded an end to the hypocrisy of their sponsorship whilst they continue to undermine human rights and the environment around the world.

Chevron is a major contributor to climate change – an existential threat to global health – and is responsible for a large number of environmental catastrophes across Africa and Latin America. The consequences of its oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been described as ‘one of the worst oil related disasters on the planet’.

As well as having a devastating effect on the environment, poorly designed and badly managed oil extraction infrastructure has led to leaks and contamination that have caused serious health issues for the communities living nearby.

The protesters held images of environmental disasters caused by Chevron in Ecuador and Nigeria, as well as a photograph of a woman and her family who has endured sickness and disease as a result of the Chevron operations near her home. The posters read, st Diarmaid McDonald from ACT UP London called on Chevron and IAS to end their partnership.

We cannot allow Chevron to use its investment in HIV care for its workers – a basic corporate responsibility – to distract us from the significant, persistent and horrific consequences of its operating model on the health of people and the planet.

We demand that Chevron stop profiteering by exploiting poor communities and the environment and call on them to take full financial responsibility for the disasters they have caused. In particular we demand that they fully compensate all those who have developed health problems as a result of Chevron’s operations, and cease all operations in areas where they pose a threat to health.”

Finally we call on the International AIDS Society to end its relationship with Chevron, and cease to accept funding from corporations complicit in actions which undermine the fundamental right to health. We will be writing to the International AIDS Society today and we expect a prompt response.”

END

Contact: Diarmaid McDonald accessdiarmaid@gmail.com

For more on Chevron’s record on health and the environment please see:

https://business-humanrights.org/en/human- rights-impacts- of-oil- pollution-ecuador- 6

http://chevrontoxico.com/about/rainforest-chernobyl/

http://www.democracynow.org/1998/11/26/drilling_and_killing_chevron_and_nigerias

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 13.46.34 Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 13.46.42 Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 13.46.57 AIDS activi

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 08.55.17

August 2nd 6pm – ACT UP London Public Presentation of our 2016 – 2017 Mission and Demands

ACT UP LONDON Public Presentation – Our 2016 – 2017 Mission – Tuesday August 2nd 6-8pm. 345 City Road London EC1V 1LR – (nearest tube – Angel) – Facebook page here  – Everyone Welcome!


Public meeting to hear, critique and respond to ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) LONDON’s new Mission, Demands, Political Organising Principles and Annual Campaign Plan. 

ACT UP London is a diverse group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic. Cuts to services, rising transmission levels, and the common mistaken belief that HIV was resolved in the 1980s results in what we call this current phase of the epidemic the ‘HIV Second Silence’.

Whilst there has been wide ranging responses and agitation from ACT UP LONDON on a wide range of issues facing our HIV/ Hepatitis community – with record – level rising HIV diagnosis we need to up-the-anti. At our recent ACT UP ‘Think In’ we drafted the new Mission, Demands, Political Organising Principles and Annual Campaign Plan.

On the evening of August 2nd we will be presenting these and invite everyone old and new to ACT UP LONDON to feed in. The evening is welcome to everyone wanting to get stuck in a fierce creative street activism to help end the HIV / Hepatitis pandemic.

There are limited spaces. Please email actuplondonfighttilltheend@gmail.com if you would like to attend. It is free and wheelchair accessible.

Here is a taster of our revised 2016 draft mission statement. 

ACT UP London believes that ending the HIV pandemic does not stop at healthcare but involves the wider community. There are many interconnected issue that impact on the HIV pandemic
The “Second Silence”, must be challenged both locally and on a wider scale. HIV transmission rates are increasing and we believe part of that is due to HIV fading from the public consciousness.
We fight to challenge the stigma that still surrounds HIV.
We believe in the liberation of sexuality and sex positivity.
We are feminist women and pro-feminist men.
We believe that race, culture, religion; misogyny, sexism and homophobia; poverty, poor education; being told you’re no good, you’re useless, are important issues to an understanding of the oppression that individuals with HIV face.
We fight for migrant rights because we see war, invasion, terrorism; pollution and drought caused by global warming as the prime cause of migration. We believe that positive migrants should be able to access the same free HIV services that we have.
We urge you to come out and invite you to overthrow your inhibitions by being active instead of the passive spectator.

visit: www.actuplondon.wordpress.com
contact: actuplondonfighttilltheend@gmail.com

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.24.26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 19.07.16 – Obama Gets “BIG THANK YOU” from Big Pharma at 2016 International AIDS Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 19, 2016, Durban – Obama Gets “BIG THANK YOU” from Big Pharma at 2016 International AIDS Conference

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.24.26

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.24.37

Pictures available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6aRuM9EfRL2ZWlEenFQMUpMNGc 

Video available here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6aRuM9EfRL2RFBjRGhYeE05YnM

At the 2016 International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, treatment access advocates presented a huge greeting card addressed to President Obama from Big Pharma to US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, thanking the US government for “doing big pharma’s bidding all over the world”.

The activists, acting in the role of Big Pharma execs, sang “we want to thank you, thank you” and chanted “USA! USA!” They lavished praise on the Ambassador for the US pursuit of the interests of the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of access to affordable medicines, including pressuring India to curtail its legal generic medicine industry, and attacks on an initiative of the UN Secretary General to address access to medicine challenges.

The action was a reflection of the widespread anger at the disconnect between the positive rhetoric of President Obama on HIV, and the aggressive pursuit of trade and intellectual property policies which serve to increase pharmaceutical profits but undermine global health.

In particular, the US government is:

  • Exerting significant and sustained pressure on the Indian government to close down the legal space for the Indian generic pharmaceutical industry – the source of over 80% of HIV medicines used in the developing world
  • Vocally undermining the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, an initiative established to address the growing challenge facing governments in the West and the Global South in securing affordable, quality medicines
  • Insisting that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement include dozens of measures to expand and extend drug monopolies and raise drug prices. Doctors Without Borders calls the TPP “the worst trade deal ever for access to affordable medicines”
  • Placing countries who explore policy options to secure access to medicines on the Special “301” list enabling trade retaliation by the US if they do not abide by Big Pharma-supported intellectual property policies.
  • Opposing efforts at the Human Rights Council, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other agencies to address drug pricing concerns in developing countries.
  • Refusing to let generic drug companies use the government’s rights in drug patents, to sell affordable generic versions of Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug, in South Africa and other developing countries.

In the discussion with activists, Ambassador Gaspard acknowledged: “we don’t always get it right”. On Monday at a 10,000-strong Treatment for All march he said: “we think it’s outrageous that some put profits before health”.

Diarmaid McDonald, an activist from ACT UP London, said:

The stakes are very high – the US is committing huge resources to boost the profits of big pharma at the cost of the lives of people waiting for access to lifesaving medicines. The US Government has diligently defended Big Pharma’s interests in countries where people die due to unaffordable medicine prices. Treatment activists from around the world agree that this must stop.

We hope that the Ambassador will hear our message and push President Obama and US Trade Representative Froman to end the US Government pressure on governments around the world to put private profits ahead of public health.”

Jamie Love, the Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), said:

There is no more reliable and persistent ally of big pharma than the Obama Administration.  Just ask the many former officials now working as lobbyists for the drug companies. When Joe Biden is not presenting himself as a working class hero, he is pressuring India over its patent policies, or Colombia over its biosimilar rules. Ambassador Froman has big pharma talking points and pseudo facts memorized, gives almost zero face time with treatment advocates, gives drug companies preferred access to negotiating texts, and twists arms behind closed doors. Kerry has allowed the State department to be a taxpayer paid bully for big pharma, at the expense of poor people who are sick. Collectively, they have been worse than the George W. Bush administration on these issues.”

Ambassador Patrick Gaspard committed to meeting with activists before the end of September.

END

Contact: accessdiarmaid@gmail.com

Notes to editors:

The International AIDS Conference is taking place in Durban this week. About 14,000 people living with HIV, researchers, government representatives, have convened in Durban over the past week to discuss the funding crises in HIV and TB alongside cutting-edge science.

Link to Ambassador Gaspard’s tweet that “civil society needs to be aggressive”: https://twitter.com/FordFoundation/status/755003717376577536

Reporting on US opposition to the UN HighLevel Panel: http://www.ip-watch.org/2016/02/05/vision-urgency-of-un-high-level-panel-on-access-to-medicines-begins-to-take-shape/


Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 16.40.30

For Immediate Release – ‘HIV Blind Date’ reaches International Stardom as hosts at international AIDS Conference

For Immediate Release 15.07.16. – ‘HIV Blind Date’ reaches International Stardom as hosts at international AIDS Conference

‘HIV Blind Date’ will make its international launch on the Global Village stage of the International AIDS Conference 2016 in Durban, South Africa on July 18th 2016. For the show’s global launch, the contestants in the show will be from 4 different continents to strengthen the global struggle to end the HIV / AIDS pandemic.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 16.40.30

‘HIV BLIND DATE‘ is a theatre dating- show for people living with HIV / HEP C to share the realities of life, love and struggle. Utilising the UK TV show ‘Blind Date’’’s well-known format, the show exposes the lived realities of people living with HIV and HEP C’s love lives, fears and hopes. HIV Blind Date started in East London’s queer cabaret club ‘The Glory’ on World AIDS Day 2015. It was created by the London chapter of ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power’ (ACT UP LONDON) and a wide range of HIV community groups across the UK. Since then the show has been requested in a wide range of clubs, hospitals and community groups.

‘HIV Blind Date’ aims to raise awareness of HIV stigma and to recruit for activism against pharmaceutical corruption, and government’ cuts to HIV support services and inaction on HIV prevention. ‘HIV Blind Date’ offers a template to combine dance, performance, live music, stunts and  spoken word to tell true life stories of people living with and affected by the virus. The show is being financially supported by a global crowdfunding campaign of HIV activists.

Silvia Petretti, leading woman living with HIV and activist in the UK and CEO of Positively UK and part of the shows production, says,

“People living with HIV continue to be often represented as victims.So often, we are stigmatised in our society; treated as passive recipients of resources, or silenced and invisibilized altogether. HIV Blind date is the perfect platform to showcase our power, resilience and humour in face of adversity. Above all it is an opportunity to get together as a community and celebrate our lives and capacity to resist, rebel and be creative.”

Dan Glass from ACT UP London says,

“The HIV pandemic is far from over. For many the HIV / AIDS is a tired, old story. In order to refresh energy we need to create provocative, flamboyant, glamorous, rowdy, insightful, moving and surprising responses to explore and expose the realities of HIV in today’s society. This is why we look forward to joining Cilla for a fun packed evening where we’ll vajazzle stigma and celebrate the anger, sweatiness and fabulous fierceness of the community living with HIV and hepatitis across the world! All proceeds go to creative street activism to end the HIV pandemic”

Contacts

Notes to Editors / Journalists 

  1. Global Village Theatre, Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) 45 Bram Fischer Road Durban 4001 South Africa
  2. ACTUP London is a revitalised chapter of the non-partisan international movement, founded in 1987, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ACT UP London is a diverse group of individuals united in anger. We are committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic. We are committed to fighting to end all inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. We are part of the global ACT UP network. AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS (PWAs) and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives.
  3. Crowdfunding page – www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hiv-blind-date-takes-to-the-world-stage – please donate what you can!