#NoHIVStigma demonstration takes to the streets of Basel
Activists, advocates, and people living with HIV from across the world took part in the NoHIVStigma demonstration in Basel on Friday night. The message was clear "No to stigma, Yes to solidarity".
The demonstration was the climax of a week long NoHIVStigma campaign across Basel to accompany the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) congress in the city. The congress drew thousands of HIV experts from across the world to discuss the latest scientific and medical advances in the field of HIV.
Life4me.plus was asked to be the community partner of the EACS congress, which meant creating a campaign, promotional materials and evening events to promote their message. The campaign chosen was NoHIVStigma - which asked experts and members of the public alike to help reduce stigma towards people living with HIV by educating themselves and others.
Alex Schneider, founder of Life4me.plus, said at the opening ceremony: "Science has made great progress with HIV, but unfortunately society has not yet caught up...
...Stigma burns people from the inside. Stigma kills.”
On Friday 8th November, the last night of the congress, Alex led the Life4me.plus team along with over 300 attendees on a demonstration march through the streets of Basel. The group had NoHIVStigma branded balloons, t-shirts, capes, flags, banners and handed out information about HIV and Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).
The march finished at Theaterplatz in Basel's Old Town where several members of the group, including Alex, gave speeches.
"We wanted to show the public that all people have the same rights, with or without HIV," says Schneider, who has been honoured, along with his team, at the by the congress committee for his commitment with an EACS Award.
"We are very pleased that the public has so positively received our message "No to Stigma, Yes to Solidarity” we are very grateful to all our campaign partners for their support”, he said talking about the week long campaign.
The next European AIDS Clinical Society congress will take place in London in 2021. Until then, according to Schneider, the existing HIV stigmatisation must continue to give way to greater understanding and solidarity.
You can find out more about NoHIVStigma at NoStigma.ch