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For Immediate Release – Tuesday 13th October 2015 – Launch of anti-austerity ‘HIV Blind Date’

For Immediate Release – Tuesday 13th October 2015

Launch of anti-austerity ‘HIV Blind Date’ in East London

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Cilla Black’s spirit lives on! ‘HIV Blind Date’ launches on Wednesday 14th October 2015 (1) in response to the threats to the National Health Service (NHS) and rising HIV+ transmission levels in London (2). As a result of the rising diagnosis of HIV transmission in many of Britain’s demographics including 1 in 7 gay men in London (3) – ACT UP London will launch their anti-HIV-stigma show ‘HIV Blind Date’. The show includes female and male voices of people living with Hep C and HIV, as well as a street protest nearby the venue with giant effigies of political figures responsible for the austerity cuts. ‘HIV Blind Date’ is a pre-cursor to the ACT UP tribute ‘Shafted?’ show which recently headlined Pride Scotland (4)

Utilising ‘Blind Date’’’s (5) well-known format, the show exposes the lived realities of people living with HIV and HEP C’s love lives, fears and hopes. This is to raise awareness of HIV stigma and to recruit for activism against the cuts to HIV education, prevention and support services as part of the austerity cuts to the NHS (6). ‘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.

Dan Glass from ACT UP London said

The HIV pandemic is far from over. For many the HIV / AIDS is s 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, expose the bare naked cuts to services and celebrate the anger, sweatiness and fabulous fierceness of the community living with HIV and HepC in the UK. Proceeds go to grassroots HIV activism to challenge the Government’s brutal cuts to HIV support programmes and to preserve the National Health Service.”

In 2015 ACT UP exists to challenge the ‘Second Silence’ – the compounding problems of the rise in HIV transmission, the cuts to support services and the general belief that HIV was resolved in the 1990s (7). To combat this, ACT UP recently occupied the front of the Home Office in a huge dance-a-thon, protesting against the move towards doctors enforcing border regulations. Dressed as doctors stripping off to become police, we demonstrated against two new clauses in the Immigration Bill which will introduce charges for migrants accessing the NHS. And most recently, dumped half a ton of fresh and steaming crap on the doorstep of UKIP’s London office (8), protesting anti-migrant statements on HIV by leader Nigel Farage and other members of the party (9).

Contacts

Notes to Editors / Journalists

  1. The Glory – 281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS – nearest train station – Haggerston –  Bar doors: 5pm / Basement doors: 7.30pm / Show: 8pm / £5 on the door / www.theglory.co
  2. HIV Infections continue to rise – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hiv-infections-continue-to-rise
  3. One in seven men on London gay scene thought to have HIV ‘http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/07/21/one-in-seven-men-on-london-gay-scene-thought-to-have-hiv/
  4. ‘Shafted? headlines Pride Scotia’ http://datab.us/Search/ScotsGay
  5. Cilla Black’s career in clips: from Blind Date to the Baftas http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2015/aug/03/cilla-blacks-career-in-clips-from-blind-date-to-the-baftas
  6. London HIV groups say funding cuts will lead to more infections http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/03/23/london-hiv-groups-suffer-43-per-cent-cut-in-nhs-funding/

  7. 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.
  8. ‘World Aids Day 2014: HIV positive activists dump manure outside Ukip office in protest against ‘bull****”
  9. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/world-aids-day-2014-hiv-positive-activists-dump-manure-outside-ukip-office-in-protest-against-bull-9896255.html
  10. Farage fracas: my day with the anti-Ukip cabaret he called ‘scum’ http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/mar/23/beyond-ukip-cabaret-nigel-farage

 

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