fighting hiv

Honestly Javier Muñoz is so inspirational to me. Here is this guy who is Hispanic, gay, and HIV positive, all three of which are working against him in today’s society. He doesn’t let it get to him and becomes friends with Lin Manuel Miranda, makes his debut on Broadway as Usnavi. Now he’s playing the lead in the biggest Broadway musical of this decade and using his status to fight for what he believes in. He’s fighting to end the stigma of HIV, he’s fighting for rights for Hispanic and LGBT+ people. And he is still so down to earth and notices his fans and interacts with them. Javier Muñoz is just a wonderful human being and he deserves the world.

npr.org
There's Great News — And Grim News — In The Fight Against HIV/AIDS

The epidemic is always changing. Here’s a look at some of the latest trends:

  • For the first time, more than half of the 36.7 million people living with HIV have access to treatment.
  • But HIV infection and AIDS death rates are increasing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • Women and sex workers have a tough time getting treatment.
  • People with HIV are growing older — and that means new challenges.

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Prince Harry received a posthumous Attitude Legacy Award on behalf of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Attitude Awards on October 12, 2017. She was given the award for the attention she brought to HIV/AIDS.  Prince Harry also made the following speech:

In April 1987, my mother was only 25 years old.

She was still finding her way in public life, but already she felt a responsibility, to shine her spotlight on the people and issues that were often ignored. She knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia.

People were ostracized from their communities – and sometimes from their families – simply for being ill. Staff who treated the ill, were themselves often turned away from local barbers and restaurants, even though it was proven that HIV could not be passed on from casual contact.

And we faced the very real risk that thousands would die in the UK – including many young gay men of her generation – without making any progress towards treatment of the disease.

So when that April, she shook the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing. She was using her position as Princess of Wales – the most famous woman in the world – to challenge everyone to educate themselves; to find their compassion; and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.

In the years that followed that famous handshake, her work continued, both in public and private. When she visited Mildmay Hospital and the London Lighthouse hospice, she wanted the world to learn the stories of those who were dying. She wanted people to demand action towards treatments that would save lives. And she wanted to get to know those who were dying not as statistics or patients, but as people.

In the year before my mother’s death, the first truly effective anti-retroviral treatments were developed for HIV and AIDS. She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the UK and around the world.

I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today.

I believe that she would be telling everyone across society – not just those most at risk – that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing – both for our own sake and for those that we love.

She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world. And she would of course be standing alongside those who are living openly, as healthy, happy and HIV-positive.

William and I are incredibly proud of what our mother achieved. And we thank you for awarding her the Legacy Award.

Photo by Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Shula Marks (b. 1938) is a South African academic, an emeritus professor of history at the University of London. She is active in the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa, and has written numerous books on the topic, working with the World Health Organization.

She taught at several universities across South Africa and the UK, and served as the President of the African Studies Association of the UK, and the Vice-President of the Royal African Society. Her work closely studies public health issues in her native country, as well as the relationship between help and apartheid.

I recently saw one of the best movies of the year! It’s a French film called 120 beats per minute. It’s about the group Act-up Paris fighting against the HIV epidemic at the beginning of the 90′s. 

It is extremely realistic, moving and respectful of its subject. I loved every second of it and I would recommend it to everyone! 

Tagging @journaling-junkie

In April 1987, my mother was only 25 years old.


She was still finding her way in public life, but already she felt a responsibility, to shine her spotlight on the people and issues that were often ignored. She knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia.


People were ostracized from their communities – and sometimes from their families – simply for being ill. Staff who treated the ill, were themselves often turned away from local barbers and restaurants, even though it was proven that HIV could not be passed on from casual contact.


And we faced the very real risk that thousands would die in the UK – including many young gay men of her generation – without making any progress towards treatment of the disease.


So when that April, she shook the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing. She was using her position as Princess of Wales – the most famous woman in the world – to challenge everyone to educate themselves; to find their compassion; and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.


In the years that followed that famous handshake, her work continued, both in public and private. When she visited Mildmay Hospital and the London Lighthouse hospice, she wanted the world to learn the stories of those who were dying. She wanted people to demand action towards treatments that would save lives.  And she wanted to get to know those who were dying not as statistics or patients, but as people.


In the year before my mother’s death, the first truly effective anti-retroviral treatments were developed for HIV and AIDS. She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the UK and around the world.


I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today.


I believe  that she would be telling everyone across society – not just those most at risk – that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing – both for our own sake and for those that we love.


She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world. And she would of course be standing alongside those who are living openly, as healthy, happy and HIV-positive.


William and I are incredibly proud of what our mother achieved. And we thank you for awarding her the Legacy Award.

—  Prince Harry’s speech at the Attitude Awards | October 12, 2017
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June’s Diary on instagram | via @junesdiary We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who made last night possible. So proud that we can be a part of a community of people fighting to Eradicate HIV/Aids. So thank you to @jussiesmollett @blackaids@frankgatson our stylist @michael.mannMUA @sabrinajcosmo and Hairstylist @hairbysaintash… 

A couple things to remember on World AIDS Day.

Over 20,000 people died before Ronald Reagan ever said the word “AIDS”. He saw it, and many people saw it, as something gay men deserved for being dievent.

Do you know who also thinks like that?

Mike Pence.

Pence pulled funding from Planned Parenthood in Indiana. The clinics in metropolitan areas were fine thanks to federal funding and many patients.

The clinics in rural Indiana? Less fine. Several Planned Parenthoods which were the only HIV treatment, testing, and prevention centers in small rural communities closed. He did this while opiate abuse was skyrocketing in Indiana. The combination led to the worst HIV outbreak in the US since 1981.

Mike Pence also opposes needle exchanges and tried to deviate HIV/AIDS funding towards education programs about the danger of homosexuality.

If you think the fight against HIV/AIDS is over you’re very very wrong. The next four years has the potential to undo all of the work we’ve done since 1981.

We can’t let that happen. We can’t go back.

If you care about the safety and human rights and bodily integrity of women, you care about sex workers rights.

If you care about the safety and opportunities and human rights of poor people, to a living wage, to affordable housing, to health care, you care about sex workers rights.

If you care about the lives and safety and human rights of people of colour, you care about sex workers rights.

If you care about the lives and safety and job opportunities and human rights of trans people and especially trans women, you care about sex workers rights.

If you care about fighting western imperialism and capitalism and the way it destroys the countries, landscapes, resources, and lives of people outside of Western Europe and North America–if you care about immigration rights and migrant workers safety and human rights and the abilities of people in Southeast Asia or South Africa, for example, to survive with dignity and have protection from stis and have human rights which are respected, you care about sex workers rights.

If you care about the fight against HIV and are against the criminalization of poverty and the criminalization of HIV, you care about sex workers rights.

None of these things are extricable. ALL are connected, often multiple times over in a messy criss cross that white western imperialists ignore for their own profit.

If you want ANY of this to change, you need to be committed and supportive of ALL of it changing. Because that’s the only way it will.

Support us. Because deep down, if you have any ethics at all, it’s already compatible with your morality.

So this December, come out for us. Start those awkward conversations about lives lost in imperialist border policies, about TPP, about RHYA, about all lives mattering, sure, but many lives being much more at risk than others and how we need to be there to support and protect those lives. About affordable housing and poverty and domestic violence and rape culture and how only human rights can stop the wrongs.

Be an accomplice.

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October 7th 1931: Desmond Tutu born

On this day in 1931 the future Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa. Tutu grew up during apartheid, when racial segregation was rigidly enforced and black Africans were denied their basic rights. After almost dying from tuberculosis aged 12, the exceptionally intelligent Tutu resolved to become a doctor. However, unable to afford medical school tuition, he studied education and became a teacher. Tutu became increasingly frustrated with the racism that discriminated against and stifled himself and his students. In 1957 he left education, and in 1960 was ordained as an Anglican deacon. Tutu studied theology in London and taught in universities before becoming the first black Anglican dean of Johannesburg in 1975, a position he used as a platform to articulate the plight of blacks in the apartheid system. He continued to rise through the South African church and received increased international attention for his anti-apartheid efforts, including receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. The 1993 end of South African apartheid was received with joy around the world and many credited Tutu’s advocacy as an important contributor to this outcome. In 1994 Tutu introduced South Africa to its newly elected President Nelson Mandela, who appointed Tutu to lead a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Desmond Tutu officially retired from public life in the late 1990s but continues to be an advocate for social justice, equality and humanitarian causes around the world. Some of the issues he has championed since his retirement include the fight against HIV/AIDS, battling homophobia, and protecting the environment.

Today, Desmond Tutu turns 83 years old.

The Killers Have Raised Over $1 Million for (RED)

According to a press release issued by (RED) today, The Killers have now raised over $1 million USD for the fight against HIV/ AIDS since beginning their (RED) Christmas Single tradition in 2006.

You can read the entire press release here.

Since 2006, The Killers have donated 11 tracks to (RED), and are the only band to have donated a Christmas track every year for the last decade. With the release of the new album, “Don’t Waste Your Wishes”, The Killers’ will have raised more than $1 million for the Global Fund – the recipient of all (RED) monies - since the release of their first (RED) single.