No more AIDS deaths. Young people team up. By Lucas Mitchell, Harvard GHAC “Could any of you imagine getting that test result, sitting in that chair, when you didn’t even know HIV existed?” Robbie Lawlor had just relived the moment when his life drastically changed, and the auditorium fell silent as the impact of his words washed over me and my classmates. After graduating with a degree in his home country of Ireland in 2012, Robbie had been ready to pursue his lifelong dream of launching a career as a zoologist in Australia. His expectations quickly changed when he found out that people living with HIV were barred from entering the country. Robbie recounted the fear he felt moments after his HIV diagnosis, his battle with depression, the sobering reality of lifelong HIV treatment options, and the sudden disruption and realignment of his life—and how he turned his new diagnosis into a fulfilling life path. As the night went on, the three other speakers got up and shared their stories too. Continue reading
More than just good grades By Emily Sanderson, National Organizer, Student Global AIDS Campaign As this academic year winds down and some members of the Student Global AIDS Campaign receive their degrees, I’d like to look back and highlight some of the work these activists have done this past year to bring the world one step closer to ending AIDS. In September, they travelled from around the country to Washington D.C. for Fall Uprising, a weekend of intensive skills-building advocacy workshops that culminated in a chance to visit Congressional offices to present the cold, hard facts to both Republicans and Democrats: if Congress doesn’t muster the political will urgently needed to address the AIDS crisis, millions more people will die unnecessarily—not due to complications of HIV, but due to their apathy and inaction. Continue reading
By Erin Williams, SGAC member at Saint Michael's College The thing about power is that it seems only a select few hold it by the reins. Those that are wealthy. Those that are lawmakers. Those that are in the public eye. But young college students? Not likely. I don’t imagine most people would picture a stressed out, bleary eyed young adult whose main source of nourishment is pizza when they imagine a powerful person with great influence. But the reality of who has power isn’t so straightforward. Continue reading
By Domenic Crump, UVA Steering Committee Member and New Chapter Liaison Having gone to an all-girls preparatory school, I have always valued the International Day of the Girl. Whether we were hearing from a guest speaker or watching a film featuring the power and capability of fellow girls around the world, global girlhood was celebrated and we were encouraged to feel proud of our own. Throughout the years, a recurring question popped into my mind in the midst of these events: How can I revel in my own girlhood when so many of my sisters are suffering? Continue reading
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"