The APPG host young HIV campaigners as they urge Government to keep their eye on ball
Yesterday, the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS welcomed over 60 young campaigners from Dublin to Dundee, Brighton to Birmingham to Portcullis House as they urged the UK Government to keep their eye on the ball with the global HIV epidemic.
The 'It Aint’ Over campaign', led by Youth Stop AIDS and supported by Restless Development and Stop AIDS, have been on a month-long tour of the UK raising awareness of the renewed threats of the global HIV & AIDS epidemic. AIDS is now the second biggest killer of adolescents in the world - in 2000, it wasn’t even in the top ten.
The APPG event was attended by DFID Minister James Wharton, who accepted nine giant postcards from the campaigners - each containing messages of support for the It Ain’t Over campaign from every city visited by the UK-wide Speaker Tour.
The young campaigners are calling for a stocktake review of all of DFID’s work on HIV and urged the Government to “keep their eye on the ball” with a stunt outside Parliament. More detail of their campaign demands can be found on their website (http://youthstopaids.org/itaintover/)
Mike Freer MP, Chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS, speaking after the event noted; ‘AIDS-related deaths are now the second highest killer of young people globally. This makes campaigns such as It Ain’t Over crucial both in terms of maintaining the focus of the Government on its work combatting HIV and AIDS and ensuring that young people are at the heart of developing sustainable solutions to help meet the UN’s target of eradicating AIDS by 2030.’
James Cole, Youth Stop AIDS National Coordinator, said; ‘We can beat AIDS, but It Ain’t Over. AIDS is now the second largest killer of young people in the world - in 2000 it wasn’t even in the top ten. After hearing about the experiences of young people living with HIV directly on our Speaker Tour, it’s great to see that so many young people from across the country have been inspired to take action today.’
Cat Currie, Campaign Manager at Restless Development, said; ‘Last year, as part of the Global Goals process, our world leaders made a commitment to end AIDS altogether by 2030. We’re using the power of young people’s voice to make sure those promises become a reality.’