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HSBC Covent Garden closes due to Queer Resistance and The London Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Location: UK » London » WC

On Saturday 28th May, Queer Resistance, the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer and intersex collective, and The London Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, part of a worldwide order of 21st Century nuns dedicated to ministrying to the LGBTQ communities, created a ‘mock’ sexual health clinic outside HSBC on King Street in Covent Garden, as part of UK Uncut’s “Emergency Operation” against Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans for the NHS.

This HSBC branch and at least forty other bank branches in the UK closed today as a direct result of the campaign to save the NHS.

Through this action, Queer Resistance highlighted the 43% cut in NHS Primary Care Trust funding for HIV prevention services in London, which particularly puts gay and bisexual men’s health at risk.

Queer Resistance demands a stop to the slashing of funding for HIV prevention services, in addition to a complete rethink of these ideological cuts which are hitting the most vulnerable in our society. There are alternatives - leave the NHS alone and cut benefits to bankers.

Current cuts to the NHS amount to a £20bn ‘efficiency drive’ whilst taxpayers continue to subsidise the banking sector by up to £100bn/year, which is equivalent to the entire NHS budget.

The action involves people dressed as doctors and nurses, as well as in scrubs, with paraphernalia that you might fight in a sexual health clinic including condoms, lubricant and latex gloves. The London Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also blessed the gathering.

These cuts come as figures show that HIV diagnoses in the UK have almost doubled in the last decade, with a rise of 70 per cent rise in gay and bisexual diagnoses. Given that it is more cost effective to prevent rather than treat a person with HIV over their life time, the implications of these cuts are concerning, not only at a human level, but at governmental level in terms of potential future economic cost.

When marking World Aids Day on 1 December 2010, David Cameron commented: “We have made a lot of progress in fighting HIV and AIDS so far and I believe that by working together, we can help reduce the stigma, reduce the number of new infections and enable those living with HIV to lead full productive and happy lives.”

These cuts are not consistent with these comments - and it’s clear we are not “all in this together”.

Groups affected by the funding cuts include GMFA, Terrence Higgins Trust and PACE, who are part of the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme, which is funded by PCTs and commissions a range of small organisations to tackle HIV
in the capital.

Stay in touch:
* Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/queerresistance; Hashtag - #queeruncut
* Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=213268158693389
* Queer Resistance Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/qresistance
* Phone - 07804 067766.

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