Friday, April 06, 2012

AIDES Acts Up:
HIV & the French Presidential Election

My friend Olivier Jablonski, a radical queer and AIDS activist in France who has led many worthwhile campaigns for people with HIV/AIDS and effective prevention methods, is acting up with a new group called AIDES. His colleague Grace Cunnane contacted me today with great news and photos to share.

A few week ago, AIDES activists waged a multi-pronged awareness and outreach campaign across France, involving a number of tactics including one of my old favorites - gluing posters to billboards and other big public spaces. Over several days, activists pushed all candidates running for president of France and their parties to confront today's HIV agenda. Bon travail, mon amis!

I'm sharing the pictures I liked best and excerpts of explanations about what the folks were up to. All info is from the AIDES group's English language page, and all photos are credited to AIDES:

The French presidential election 2012: The countdown has begun! Condoms, antiretrovirals, harm reduction programs for drug users and other strategies to fight against HIV/Aids and viral hepatitis have already proven their usefulness; the new president of France will have to prove himself/herself in the same way in 2012. We already know how to put an end to these epidemics and AIDES will not fail to remind the candidates of this fact.

Wednesday the 21st March 2012. AIDES activists show up at the political rallies of the presidential candidates and with banners, human sandwiches, tracts and flyers make our demands known to the candidates and their followers.

Thursday the 22nd of March 2012.  AIDES organizes a public debate on drug policies with addictionologists, sociologists, health professionals and local politicians. During this encounter the local politicians discover that some harm reduction strategies can enable us to put an end to the epidemics which affect drug users. Concerned people tell their stories which are powerful and edifying.

Thursday the 22nd of March. AIDES activists from all over France, spend a night putting up posters of our latest awareness campaign : “Here are two ways to stop Aids. One has proven its usefulness. The other will have to do so in 2012 !”

Paris gets plastered!

AIDES Martinique advocates show off their posters.

Smoothing out the glue in Nancy.

Kiosks in Lyon got the AIDES treatment.

In Marseilles' central plaza, AIDES left a message for voters.

All parties, including the Greens, had AIDES added to their propaganda.

One more image from Paris, illustrating how AIDES redecorated the streets!

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