PRESS RELEASES

SEE WHAT NAT HAS TO SAY ON TOPICS IN HIV AND HIV-RELATED EVENTS

World AIDS Day 2019 video promotes HIV support and solidarity

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

NAT (National AIDS Trust) has released a symbolic video with the help of community dance groups as part of its Rock the Ribbon Together campaign to mark World AIDS Day (1 December 2019).

The Rock the Ribbon Together campaign urges people to stand in solidarity with people living with HIV, raise awareness and donations, challenge stigma, and end loneliness and isolation.

The Rock the Ribbon Together video uses Erasure’s song A Little Respect. It features members of Gay Men’s Dance Company and Queer Tango London dancing together using red ribbons – the global symbol of HIV awareness – to show they are standing together with people living with HIV.

The video and campaign builds on NAT’s World AIDS Day 2018 Rock the Ribbon video narrated by Stephen Fry and featuring a solo dance by Sherrie Silver, who choreographed Childish Gambino’s Grammy-winning hit This Is America.

Stigma continues to have a significant impact on the lives and wellbeing of people living with HIV. One in 5 people living with HIV say they have needed help with loneliness and isolation. Of those, three-quarters stated they have not been able to find help. One in eight people living with HIV has never told anyone else about their condition other than a clinician [1].

NAT is calling for all people living with HIV who need it to have access to vital peer support. This is shown to be effective in breaking down isolation, stigma and supports with other unmet needs people living with HIV experience, such as information and advice. In a survey, 100 per cent of HIV clinicians said peer support was an important part of HIV care but it is becoming harder and harder to find [2].  

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said:

“This World AIDS Day we hope the joyful dances created and captured by people to show togetherness and solidarity with people living with HIV, inspire everyone to Rock the Ribbon Together.

“HIV support has been severely cut in recent years so it’s no wonder that 20 per cent of people living with HIV say they’ve needed help with loneliness. No one should feel isolated or alone because of their HIV status.

“Comprehensive peer-led HIV support services must be accessible across the UK so people can access the help they need, when they need it, and wherever they are. High-quality peer support provided through services that understand HIV and the impact of stigma will have wide-ranging benefits - ultimately reducing the overall pressure on health and social care services. Peer support can and does transform the lives of people living with HIV.”

Alex Scurr, Managing Director at the Gay Men’s Dance Company, said:

“We’re honoured to be supporting NAT’s World AIDS Day campaign. It was brilliant to be able to dance and Rock the Ribbon Together and it’s an amazing song, so joyous and free. Rock the Ribbon Together is such an important campaign and message, it’s about helping fight stigma and showing solidarity with people living with HIV.”

Tom Cottle, Resident DJ at Queer Tango London, said:

“NAT’s Rock the Ribbon Together campaign fits perfectly with Queer Tango London’s vision as a dance group so we’re excited to be part of the video. Tango is a passionate and sensual dance of togetherness which reaches across divides. We stand against stigma and isolation and want people living with HIV to know they’re not alone.”

NAT is encouraging others to share its World AIDS Day 2019 Rock the Ribbon Together video on social media with the hashtag #RockTheRibbon.

ENDS

For more details or further comment, please contact Anabel Unity Sale, Head of Communications, on: anabelunity.sale@nat.org.uk and 020 7814 6738 or 07384 390 624.

Notes to editors

Red ribbons can be ordered directly from NAT and are also available from all branches of MAC Cosmetics, RBS, NatWest & Ulster Bank and selected branches of Morrisons and HSBC UK for a suggested donation of £1.

[1] ‘Changing Perceptions: Talking about HIV and our needs’, Positive Voices: The National Survey of People Living with HIV (November 2018).

[2] ‘Why we need HIV support services’, National AIDS Trust (March 2017)

About NAT

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.

Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.

www.nat.org.uk

About Gay Men’s Dance Company

GMDC run various Performing Arts and Fitness classes. It is a social group with a very strong community feel and is a great way of meeting awesome new people and injecting more fun into your life.  Its classes are open to anyone and everyone. The new term starts in January 2020.

https://thegmdc.com

About Queer Tango London

QTL runs friendly, weekly sessions where anyone who wants to dance queer tango is welcome. Queer tango is real Argentine tango where same sex couples and women leading men are part of the new ‘normal’ because who dances what is not determined by gender. Its next 6-week Beginners’ Course starts in January 2020.

www.queertangolondon.com

NAT Topic