Towards ZERO Together #AIDS2018

$8,060 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 7 months
What it's all about:
Access to Anti-retroviral treatments remain limited, especially in developing countries where out of 7.1 million only 28% are receiving treatment. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of this issue by sending a clear message that PLHIV worldwide are coming together in unity to support their peers and fight for the needs of future generations. This is our generations’ purpose…

The Towards Zero Together campaign is designed to raise awareness of several issues impacting on the lives of PLHIV, by sending a clear message that PLHIV worldwide are coming together in unity to support their peers and fight for the needs of future generations.

This campaign aims to get as many PLIHV from all over the world together to walk as one and raise awareness about the many barriers still faced by some worldwide, such as the great discrepancies in accessing life-saving treatment, and a lack of empowered non-Western voices.

A group made up of HIV advocates and activists from around the world will walk 220kms over seven days, starting in Brussels on 15 July, and ending at the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on 25 July.

By walking 220kms across borders and ending at the International AIDS conference, PLHIV are not just advocating for equal access to treatment for all, but are also proving to the wider community that they can do anything they put their minds to and are not held back by this virus in any way.

“Today’s ARVs does not only improve the quality of life of PLHIV but they are also a key tool in ending transmission. Getting all PLHIV on treatment ASAP not only just makes sense, it actually an incredible affective menhod to end HIV - Ruan (Founder of the Hivsters Movement & Towards ZERO together)”

What do we need the money for:
All the walkers in this campaign are funding themselves, this includes over $2000 worth of airfares for the Aussie participants, plus equipment and time off work. This funding page will help them by covering a support vehicle, petrol, first aid, food and accommodation whilst walking from Brussels to Amsterdam.

We will also be raising funds as we walk from Brussels to Amsterdam which will be donated to the THREE organisations that directly assist in breaking down some of the barriers faced by our peers. We are sending out messages for: ZERO AIDS deaths, ZERO prossecutions, ZERO stigma.

The Two Aussie Walkers are:

Darren has been living with HIV since September 2000 and this will be his first active endeavour in the HIV sector. He walks in honor of every person who has supported him in the hope that his efforts will assist others, especially those who require equal access to vital medication.

Having worked in Education for the last 22 years, Darren is now turning his attention to assisting people with alcohol and other drug issues and is studying a Diploma of AOD at RMIT (Melbourne), supporting people living with HIV and LGBTQIA+ people who may use drugs or alcohol to cope with discrimination, stigma or low self-esteem.

Darren considers himself fortunate to have the loving support of his family and, having never been to Belgium, he is excited at the prospect of walking the terrain that is the very birthplace and homeland of his Mother.

Darren’s further training and community participation includes Peer Facilitator Training & ”Re-wired 2.0” with the Victorian AIDS Council; Recovery and Support Program/ Acceptance and Commitment Training at St Vincent’s Department of Addiction Medicine and volunteer breakfast service to the homeless and marginalized at Ozanam Community Centre.

Later in the year Darren aims to become a speaker for the Positive Speakers Bureau at living positive victoria and has already gained employment in a leading Melbourne Drug and Alcohol Residential Rehabilitation facility.

Ruan has been living with HIV since 2014 and been active in the HIV sector since 2015. He is currently employed full time at ACON where he is the Community Health Promotion Officer for the Sexually Adventurous Men’s Project (SAM), a project which supports men who have sex with men (MSM) who engage in and are affected by alcohol and other drugs (AOD) dependency issues.

Ruan is The founder and organiser of the Hivsters Camino, a 180km, stigma busting campaign where 6 PLHIV walked cross VIC & SA, educating rural Australia about HIV treatment, prevention and self-care. He then completed the KOKODA trail (PNG) with HIV Foundation QLD, to prove that PLHIV are stronger than they think and he is also the founder of the Towards Zero Together campaign. A valued member of the Positive Life NSW Positive Speakers Bureau (PSB) team after joining early 2018. He is a peer support coordinator, community educator and founder of Hivsters VIC & QLD, a peer connection platform where PLHIV come together and celebrate the upside of being HIV positive today.

More Aussie walkers are confirming their attendance by the day and this will be updated accordingly!!

Find out more here: www.hivsters.info/towards-zero-together/
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G'day everyone,

Firstly a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us and helped us get so close to our goal. I wanted to post a quick update, a week before departure to let you know what we have been up to whilst raising funds.

The last 2 months have been been flat out creating a big, noteworthy campaign that will actually add value to the lives of those affected. Here is what we and our very good mates in Amsterdam have managed to pull together!

When we arrive in Brussels, we go straight into a pre-hike event to welcome the walkers and to get as many media outlets as possible on board to help send out our messages. This is where all the awareness raising initiatives begin.

We are also being followed by a documentary team (the whole way) who will document our hike but who have also teamed up with OUT TV, Europe's largest LGBTIQ broadcaster who will send live updates of our hike as it happens to all over Europe. This will REALLY help with our goal to reach as many people as possible.

Along the way we are being joined by all kinds of "VIP's" and celebrities. The vice mayor of Rotterdam and also AMSTERDAM will join us on short stretches to help create more buzz. We are having breakfast with the Aussie embassy in Dordrecht and the Major is walking with us for the day. We also also being joined by other HIV activists along the route, all hoping to add value to our trek.

We have secured free food from one of the largest supermarket chains in EU for our whole trip, their way of supporting our very noble cause! Thank you Albert Heijn!!

We will also be welcomed in Amsterdam by the amazing guys from the AIDS 2018 community march and have a place on stage once we arrive with an opportunity to speak about our fantastic campaign. We will then join the AIDS flame on its procession across Amsterdam and be interviewed as part of that walk.

As you can see every cent donated is going towards a big initiative that will definitely have a huge reach. There are also a few other celebs still in the pipeline and hoping to confirm attendance.

At this stage there will be 4 main walkers, 2 Aussies, 1 South African and one UK gentleman. We are a tight little crew and are sure to have a great experience, all working very hard to send the needed messages of ZERO stigma, ZERO criminilisation and ZERO AIDS deaths (barriers to treatment) all over the world.

Look our for our next update and thanks again for all your support and help.

Much love,

The Towards ZERO Together crew :)
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$8,060 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 7 months
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Dave Glidden
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