ACT UP Paris is currently pressuring French President Nicolas Sarkozy to outline his platform on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, which he apparently began to do at the G8 Summit in June 2007, calling for universal access to AIDS drugs by 2010 as part of France’s commitment to the UNAIDS Global Fund. ACT UP Paris, along with its allies Aides and Solidarity AIDS, is currently trying to meet with Sarkozy before World AIDS Day Dec. 1 to discuss his platform on the issue and is calling for an acceleration of the universal access plan. The groups have had no success thus far in achieving those objectives.
As part of this campaign, ACT UP issued a press release Oct. 5 calling attention to a meeting [that day when?] between Sarkozy and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. The release mentioned that the Clinton Foundation is the second largest private funding organization in the fight against HIV/AIDS, behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (this was the only reference to the Gates Foundation in the press release and it was not made in a derogatory manner). ACT UP called on Clinton to “remind” Sarkozy of his G8 commitment to provide universal access to AIDS drugs by 2010. According to ACT UP, a recent UNAIDS report said that member countries need to increase their financial contribution to the fund every year until 2010. ACT UP is calling on Sarkozy’s government to increase its funding of the program. It does not appear that Clinton responded to ACT UP’s demand.
On Nov. 10, ACT UP Paris protested outside of the Ministry of Health in Paris calling for the government agency to not go through with a proposed plan requiring medical deductibles for national health care beginning in 2008. Twenty ACT UP Paris members joined 300 other people, including doctors and members of several French health NGOs and unions, arguing that the ministry’s proposal would make critically sick people even more sick because they would not be able to afford treatment.
On Nov. 5, ACT UP Paris members protested outside the French Senate building against the law that criminalizes prostitution in France. The group demanded de-criminalization, the documentation of sex workers and general rights for such workers, all in an effort to educate prostitutes and limit the spread of HIV/AIDS.
On Oct. 30, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner, the co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres, traveled to Thailand. ACT UP issued several press releases announcing the trip and demanding to know whether Kouchner is on the side of drug companies or people with diseases. ACT UP has yet to publicly follow up on Kouchner’s trip.[hasn’t released a follow up press release to determine which side he’s on, so I guess the group hasn’t made its decision? --what do you mean by this?]