THE BODY SHOP and UNAIDS have launched an international campaign asking the public to be ‘an activist’ and join the fight against HIV.
The campaign photographed by Ian Rankin, urges everyone to take personal responsibility for our actions by staying safe and protecting others…
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who launched the campaign and exhibition at City Hall – which runs until 10 December – said: “HIV continues to have a major impact on the lives of Londoners and this exhibition shows it can affect anyone.
“It is our duty to keep HIV on the agenda, but I urge everyone to take personal responsibility to protect yourself and others against the condition.
“Whether directly affected or not, let’s stand shoulder to shoulder, show our support and challenge the stigma.”
Here are some quotes from those living with HIV who took part in the campaign after attending a casting in London earlier this year.
Emma C was diagnosed HIV-positive 20 years ago when she was just 22 years old, there’s nothing Emma doesn’t know about the effects of this virus: “ignorance still exists; we can only break that down by speaking up and educating people.”
Kristian has taken part in the campaign in honour of his friend and inspiration, Clint Walters, a HIV/Aids activist who died April 2010: “Aids is not a word, it’s a sentence and as someone who lives, day-in day-out with HIV, I can tell you it is something to be scared of. The disease dies with me.”
Scott P was one of the first people in the UK to successfully challenge his employer for discrimination based on his HIV status. He now talks to young people in schools about the virus: “HIV is often portrayed as a controllable disease like diabetes, but anyone taking combination therapy will say different.
Terry Longden, hair & make-up artist/stylist presenter and radio DJ is known to be ‘a bit goby’ possibly inherited from his Aunt and Uncle Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne: but it comes in handy living with HIV and being an ambassador for Northern Ireland charity AIDS 2000: “I am shocked that the red ribbon has lost its impact over the years. I not afraid of being bullied, and Aids and HIV is a bully pushing you to be quiet.”
The late Dame Anita Roddick and founder of the Body Shop once said: “Working for The Body Shop should not just be selling bars of soap, but working for the community, lobbying for social change, campaigning for the environment… working in fact, for the greater good.”
Her impact as a woman, entrepreneur and campaigner still lives and this campaign shows her spirit and the charities that she supported when CEO of the Body Shop – Body & Soul – are as strong today as ever.
You can go and see the exhibition at City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 until the 10 December. The Body Shop will be promoting the campaign in their shop windows through out December and have done a redesign of the red ribbon which can be brought in-store with all proceeds going to Body & Soul.
To find out more about the campaign and the activists click here