STOPAIDS Campaign Annual Student Stop AIDS Campaign Speaker Tour
Chaired by Caroline Lucas MP
The Student Stop AIDS Campaign is a network of young people who believe that the international response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic is insufficient and unacceptable. They use activism and advocacy to campaign for zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths through three key areas: funding the response, access to medicines and human rights.
The Speaker Tour is an opportunity to hear the real stories behind the HIV pandemic. It brings together speakers from different parts of the world to share their personal experiences of living with HIV with young people at universities, educating and inspiring them to take action. For the month of February they will be visiting 12 different universities throughout Scotland and England doing day-time campaigning on their current campaign focus and holding speaker events in the evening to give students and the general public a chance to hear from those who know about the challenges of living with HIV.
The Students are coming to Parliament to give MPs and Lords a chance to hear their inspirational stories. Below are brief descriptions of each of the speakers:
Jay is from China. As a haemophiliac and a person living with Hepatitis C, Jay contracted HIV from a blood transfusion 12 years ago. Having to battle with three chronic diseases, the biggest challenges for Jay was the lack of information on the conditions and the unaffordable price of ARVs in China. At the point of diagnosis, Jay’s CD4 count was at 200 (technically AIDS). In desperate need of ARVs Jay joined a group of other peers, in a similar position, and together they organised for generic (and affordable) ARVs to be illegally smuggled into China from Thailand.
Daisy is from Uganda and is the Executive Director of WONETHA-Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy. Daisy contracted HIV after being raped at 17 years of age. Due to inadequate local health care facilities, in 2007 Daisy was told she would have to wait until a patient had passed away before she would be given access to their ARV regiment. She became a sex worker in order to support her young child. From her experiences of stigma and discrimination amongst sex workers, Daisy decided to talk openly about her status to fight this stigma, encourage others to get tested and to show that with medication you can live a normal and happy life.
Nick is from Scotland and as a young, gay man became an HIV activist in his teens. He contracted HIV after becoming an activist and has been subject to hate crime and abuse because of his status. Despite this, Nick has remained a dedicated activist. He is a board member of HIV Scotland, the national HIV policy organisation, and a lay member of the public panel of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV.