We are inviting you to join the Student Global AIDS Campaign for five days of intensive grassroots action to show the U.S. government we will not stand by while they delay and deprioritize fighting for people living with HIV and AIDS.
We have made incredible progress over the last 30 years in the science, testing, treatment, and prevention of HIV for millions of people and it has brought us to the tipping point: we have the science to end all new HIV infections. Now, after more than 37 million AIDS-related deaths, we can end AIDS as a pandemic by 2030. To disregard the pandemic now is not only dangerous, it is an affront to the world’s most marginalized populations.
Because HIV exists at the intersection of public health and social justice, we know that ending the pandemic also means breaking down the social and systemic barriers to healthcare and it’s our responsibility to confront biases within our society. Wherever systems of oppression exist—racism, classism, sexism, colonialism, ableism, and homophobia—HIV will be found. That’s why we’ve been talking to people all over the world who are working on immigrants rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, women’s rights, racial justice and more to find out what we can do to help.
Perhaps our greatest power is our access to elected officials in the wealthiest country in the world. As young people working towards a better world for all, we believe that the U.S. and other high-income countries have a moral responsibility to serve the needs of people living with HIV everywhere. The U.S. has been a leader in the response for the last 15 years, and we demand that instead of backing away, our government must continue to lead us to an AIDS-free generation.
- Sign up here as an organizational or individual co-sponsor! Ask your friends and allied organizations to co-sponsor, too. By filling out your info with this link, you can share how you and/or your organization will participate. Once you register, our national organizer will reach out to you about joining in on the action. If you have any questions, please email Emily@studentglobalaidscampaign.org.
Share the actions with your networks, friends, peers, and co-workers so they can plan ahead.
- Show us on social media how you took action. Use #ActToEndAIDS and tag us @FightGlobalAIDS.
As a co-sponsor, we want you to use your network (social media, email, in-person public spaces) to inspire as many people as possible to tell their Members of Congress: AIDS is not over.
Monday 4/9: HIV and Immigrant Rights
People migrate to and from countries for economic, social, political, environmental reasons and more. Immigrants are often isolated and stigmatized when they’re healthy—now imagine what it’s like for immigrants living with HIV. Healthcare is less accessible, healthcare providers may not speak the same language, and some immigrants are at risk of being deported back to a country where they will not be able to access medicines.
Some countries still have laws that prevent people with HIV from traveling and immigrating. The U.S. did not allow people living with HIV to enter the United States until 2010, when President Obama lifted the stigmatizing policy. Individual U.S. states still have HIV criminalization laws that require people living with HIV to disclose their status to a partner before having intercourse. Currently, 72 countries allow for HIV-specific criminalization. These policies are not science-based, and they fuel stigma while discouraging people from knowing their HIV status.
Share this action, happening in NYC in April 22nd. If you are in NYC, you are needed in-person! The ICE on Trial campaign is calling out ICE on: homophobia and transphobia in detention centers (physical violence; sexual harassment; homophobic and transphobic insults coming from guards; sending trans folks on a regular basis to solitary confinements and keeping them there for months), medical neglect impacting HIV+ LGBTQ people, lack of mental health services on the site etc. All those types of violence against members of LGBTQ community perpetuate in detention centers on ICE’s watch every day.
Sign and share this petition from Make the Road NY to demand the question about citizenship status be removed from the 2020 census. Donald Trump's administration is trying to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census to scare immigrants from participating and to deprive our communities of resources and political representation. We can’t let that happen!
Tuesday 4/10: HIV and Poverty
No one should have to choose between seeing a doctor, eating, and accessing life-saving medicine. For people living with HIV, it is critical to have proper nutrition, housing, and economic opportunity. Everyone, no matter where they are in the world, deserves equal access to medicines regardless of their ability to pay. When there are more economic opportunities available and people are able to increase their wealth, HIV is less prevalent, health systems are stronger, and more educational opportunities are available. More stability leads to a happier and healthier life.
While we’re fighting to expand access to HIV treatment to the nearly 1 in 2 people around the world who still don’t have it, here in the U.S. millions of Americans don’t have access to healthcare. 28 million people don’t have health insurance, and therefore cannot afford to get the medical attention they need. At least 39 million Americans are underinsured – they can’t afford to get the healthcare they need even though they have insurance. With universal healthcare, everyone would have access to the preventative care they need to protect themselves from HIV. The US needs a universal healthcare system that would guarantee equal access to quality healthcare regardless of a person’s socio-economic status. Call your member of congress today to ask them to support Medicare for All – the single payer, universal healthcare system that would ensure every person living in America has access to healthcare.
CALL your Members of Congress and ask them to sign on to the universal healthcare bills:
–If they are a Representative ask if they would sign onto H.R. 676
–If they are a Senator, ask if they will sign onto S.1804
–If they have already signed on to the Medicare for All bill in their house, thank them for supporting the issue, and encourage them to take more leadership in the fight for Medicare for All.
You can use your own words or this script when you call:
Hi there, my name is __________and I’m a student at ____(university/college)___in __(city/town)__. I’m calling today because I’m appalled at the state of healthcare in this country. Every person living in the United States should have equal access to healthcare, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they can afford to go to the doctor, or whether or not they can afford to purchase health insurance. Right now, 28 million Americans don’t have insurance, and tens of million more can’t afford healthcare even though they have insurance. (Insert a personal story here about difficulties with health insurance if you have one) I’m calling to ask _Representative/Senator XXX__ to support Medicare for All. Will ___he/she____ sign on to __HR 676/S.1804_?
Wednesday 4/11: HIV and the Rights of Women and Girls
We know that women and girls between ages 15 and 24 are twice as likely as their male counterparts to become HIV+. When girls have access to comprehensive, respectful, rights-based health services, they are less likely to contract HIV because they are informed and have a medical professional to confide in and trust. But the health of women and girls is not only impacted by their access to medical care. Access to education (including sex ed), economic opportunity, housing, and bodily autonomy all play a big role in helping to prevent women from contracting HIV.
April 11 is International Day of Maternal Health and Rights. Every year, Around 303,000 women die from preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth. We believe women should only be pregnant if they want to be, and if they choose to have children, they deserve safe and respectful care.
Schedule a visit to your local in-district congressional office about co-sponsoring the Global HER Act. The Global HER Act would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule or more formally, the Mexico City Policy. This policy prevents any U.S. funding from going to clinics and medical centers that provide, reference, or educate people on abortions. Previously, this has excluded global HIV funding, but Trump has changed that. The Global HER act would repeal this treacherous rule for good. We need as many Members of Congress to sign on as possible! Don’t have enough time to schedule a meeting? Just drop in! Go with two or more friends, and bring some printed materials about what you are asking the Senator/Representative to do.
Don’t have time to drop-in? Call their DC office and say you’d like them to co-sponsor the Global HER Act.
If they are already co-sponsors, talk to them about why they signed on and why they are passionate about the Global HER Act. Is there a region they really care about? See if they would be willing to write something publicly about their support of the Global HER Act.
To read more about the Global Gag Rule, check out these explainers:
- The Mexico City Policy: An Explainer
- Issue Brief from Amnesty International: The Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act.
- One year on, full impact of ‘global gag rule’ begins to emerge
- The Global Gag Rule will devastate healthcare in poor countries
Thursday 4/12: HIV and Foreign Aid
We have two years left to achieve the global benchmark of 30 million people on treatment by 2020— a goal we must meet in order to achieve the end of AIDS as a pandemic by 2030. This year, the U.S. needs to increase our spending by $850 million to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and contribute $1.35 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
While we are on the brink of this exciting goal, Trump has proposed funding cuts to the U.S. global HIV response for two years in a row. This year, he proposes a lethal $1.3 billion in cuts which would result in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The U.S. has been a leader in funding the global AIDS response since 2003, and must maintain its leadership while encouraging other high-income countries to increase funding. U.S. funding is often some of the only funding that can reach high risk populations: trans women, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and prisoners. When we cut our funding, we cut services from the people most at risk and who need the most support.
To continue reducing new HIV infections and increasing the number of people accessing treatment, wealthy countries need to support countries in their efforts to help people living with HIV thrive.
If your Members of Congress are on the Appropriations committee, CALL THEM! If they aren’t, CALL the leaders of State and Foreign Operations, a sub-committee of the Appropriations committee that deals directly with funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS TB and Malaria. Demand FULL funding for the global AIDS response in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC): 202-224-5972
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT): 202-224-4242
Representative Hal Rogers (KY): 202-225-4601
Representative Nita Lowey (NY): 202-225-6506
For more information on what we’re asking for, read this one-pager.
You can use your own script, or this one:
Hi, my name is ___________ and I’m a constituent (if you are). I’m calling to ask Sen/Rep _________ to support full funding for the global HIV response in FY19. We have the means to end the AIDS epidemic, and successful and efficient programs like PEPFAR The Global Fund deserve our full support. Thank you.
Friday 4/13: HIV and LGBTQIA+ Rights
People who identify as LGBTQIA+ routinely face discrimination in every country in the world. In some countries, this discrimination might play out via healthcare, housing, or jobs. In other countries, where being gay or transgender is considered a crime, it could mean torture, prison, or even death.
In addition to being an egregious violation of human rights, discrimination fuels the spread of HIV, particularly among men who have sex with men and trans women.
Trans women and men who have sex with men experience much higher risk of being HIV+ than other sexually active people. The most effective ways to prevent new HIV infections is treatment upon diagnosis, and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, better known as PrEP. PrEP is a very small dose of antiretrovirals and is intended for people who know they will be at risk of becoming HIV+. It is 99% effective in preventing the virus.
PrEP was created with research from public institutions, meaning it was funded with taxpayer money through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Pharmaceutical giant Gilead bought the patent and is demanding an unaffordable price: over $1,500 a month while PrEP (brand-name Truvada) costs Gilead $6 a month to produce. We will not let Gilead let hundreds of thousands if not millions of new infections occur in the name of creating profit for themselves before their patent is up in 2021.
Call your Members of Congress today and ask that they use March-In Rights to regain the patent and make it free or affordable for people who need PrEP. March-in rights is one of the handful of ways we can lower the price of PrEP. Read more about march-in rights here.
Call your Members of Congress and tell them you would like them to use march-in rights to secure affordable access to PrEP.
"Hi, my name is ________ and I'm a constituent. I am calling today to ask Senator/Representative ___________ to use march-in rights on the patents for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This HIV prevention drug owned by Gilead Pharmaceuticals costs $1,500/month when it costs only $6 to make and was completely researched and developed with taxpayer funds. Will Senator/Representative ___ use march-in rights to protect people in the U.S. who are vulnerable to HIV?"
ACT UP NY
AIDS Advocacy Network
American Medical Students Association
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
Harvard Global Health and AIDS Coalition
International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC)
National Nurses United (NNU)
Partners in Health Engage
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)
Treatment Action Group (TAG)