On December 1st I hopped off of the bus I took to Washington, D.C. from Charlottesville with a purpose. I had never been so excited upon an arrival at Union Station before, but today was a cornerstone in my young life. Finally, after years of being a member of a student AIDS activist group, the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC), I was actually going to be a part of my first rally — and on World AIDS Day at that. Continue reading
'What’s true of all evils in the world is true of plague. It helps men to rise above themselves.' –Albert Camus, The Plague When I walked into the Intensive Care Unit of the local hospital in Ramotswa, Botswana, I knew she was deteriorating fast. The patient was a 55-year-old woman who had been admitted over the weekend with pneumonia after not taking her HIV medications for several months. She was now my responsibility as my patient, and it became clear to me that she was likely suffering from pneumocystis pneumonia or PCP, a virulent form of pneumonia seen in people with AIDS. Standing in the ICU, I was calculating what my options were. The only significant difference between the ICU and the rest of the hospital was having oxygen available, but I soon realized the oxygen tank was empty. As the minutes passed, she looked as if she was struggling harder and harder to breathe, and I knew she was dying before my eyes. I called for help, but every salvage attempt we tried failed. After several minutes of resuscitation, her heart stopped because of her inability to breathe, and she died. This was the first time I had ever seen someone die of AIDS. Continue reading
AMANDLA!!! AWETHU!!!!!!! This call and response could be heard echoing the streets of Durban South Africa during the 2016 International AIDS conference (IAC). To the people of South Africa, this call and response is translated to Power! To the people! To many people at the IAC, including me, it meant unity. Continue reading
Right now, the U.S. Congress is deciding how much funding to appropriate to global AIDS programs including PEPFAR and the Global Fund. We need your help TODAY and in the coming weeks to pressure your Legislators to put their money where there mouths are, and fully fund global AIDS programs. Continue reading
SGAC is at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne! Find our Global Village booth to find out more about our campaigns and actions this weekend, and keep up to date with social media for action alerts. (You can find us on facebook and twitter.) Are you at the IAC and want to be involved in activism? Email us to join the fight to end AIDS!
Health GAP's Matthew Kavanagh on the need for leadership in the fight against AIDS from Senate Democrats. We couldn't agree more! "The Republican controlled House voted to restore $300 million to the PEPFAR program--money that will not be used this year by the multilateral Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria because it had not raised enough money from donor countries. But the Senate, led by Senators Mikuslki and Leahy, refused. Instead, they cut $300 million from the Global Fund and refused to restore any funding to the PEPFAR program"
We couldn't be more excited to present the inaugural "Next Generation Award" to Ben Wikler tonight at the Health GAP Global Health Justice Awards. SGACers, alums, supporters - we hope you will join us for this very special evening. note: you can pay what you can afford for the event, we don't turn anyone away!
The President's Budget request is in, and it isn't great for global AIDS programs. The President originally pledged $1.65 billion for the Global Fund, under the condition that the amount was matched at 2-to-1 by other Global Fund contributors. With the pledge only matched up to $1.35 billion, the remaining $300 million should have been kept in global AIDS programs by moving the funds into PEPFAR. Instead, the President's budget request for FY '15 leaves global AIDS $300M short from FY '14 levels, a cut that would relegate about 1 million patients to wait lists who were scheduled to being treatment. This month, members of Congress will be submitting their wish lists to the Appropriations Committee -- let's get them to fight back against these cuts and fully fund PEPFAR! Call your Congress and Senate representatives today! You can find the phone numbers for your representatives here and the phone numbers for your senators here.
URGENT: TAKE ACTION AGAINST UGANDA'S ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL AND SUPPORT THE RECALL OF U.S. AMBASSADOR SCOTT DELISI President Museveni has expressed his intent to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. The fight against bigotry and homophobia in Uganda has reached a critical point. Please take action TODAY to call Secretary Kerry's Chief of Staff. Call In Information can be found here: http://healthgap.squarespace.com/urgent-take-action-against-ugandas-anti-homosexuality-bill
The 2014 SGAC Annual Conference was an incredible gathering of student activists that took place at the George Washington University from February 14-16. Despite the challenging winter weather, we welcomed new students from as far West as Los Angeles and as far South as New Orleans, and we were especially pleased to have the biggest and best Positive Students Network Summit yet! We learned about the latest state of the AIDS epidemic, practiced skills from power mapping to effective civil disobedience, and shared our stories. Let's keep that momentum going strong in the rest of 2014!