2014_02 Princes Street view 15

Grill the politicians in Juniper Green

World AIDS Day

Avoiding Christmas cards

Donate a bike to The Bike Station

Enrol now for your course in physics

The local elected politicians in South West Edinburgh including Alistair Darling MP, Gordon MacDonald MSP, Councillor Bill Henderson and Councillor Ricky Henderson, along with Lothians MSP Alison Johnstone are appearing at a Town Hall style event on 8 December 2014 at the Gibson-Craig Hall at 7.30pm. Are you interested in sending a question in ahead of time? Then email chair@junipergreencc.org.uk now and go along on the night to hear the answer!

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For World AIDS Day tomorrow organisations across Edinburgh are joining the Scotland-wide campaign to ask: ‘What Will You Do’ about HIV – the virus that when left untreated can lead to AIDS.

15 buildings and landmarks across Edinburgh – including St John’s Church, St Andrew’s House, Harvey Nichols, Jenners and the Usher Hall –  are turning their lights red to mark 1 December, events are being held across the city, and information and leaflets about HIV are being sent to GPs, colleges, businesses and clinics. The campaign (run by a coalition of charities, campaigners and local health boards) is asking everyone in Scotland, from individuals and businesses through to politicians, to think actively about what they can do to reduce new cases of HIV and to tackle the stigma and prejudice people living with HIV in Scotland still face.

Across this weekend and 1 December itself, the campaign will see: events held at the Scottish Parliament, Glasgow City Chambers and across the country; HIV information materials distributed across GP surgeries, colleges, and businesses; campaigners asking #WhatWillYouDo on social media and inviting everyone to add red ribbons to their profile pictures; and 80 buildings and landmarks across Scotland turning their lights red on 1 December to show support.

George Valiotis, CEO of HIV Scotland – the national HIV policy charity for Scotland – said: “It’s fantastic to see people and organisations across Edinburgh and the Lothians supporting World AIDS Day and talking about HIV. Historically as a society we’ve chosen to be either actively terrified of HIV or to ignore it. Neither approach is the answer. As a nation we must use World AIDS Day this year to take a good hard look at where we are in our response to HIV. People living with HIV tell us they can still face stigma and prejudice in every area of their lives; and we know that rates of new cases of HIV haven’t reduced significantly across the last 10 years. This simply isn’t good enough, and that’s why our campaign this year is to ask everyone in Scotland – from members of the public, right through to key decision-makers – to stop and think: what will you do about HIV?

“For members of the public, the answer to that question might be simple: visit www.aidsdayscotland.com and learn a few facts about HIV, use condoms, get tested, or help spread the word by tweeting using hashtag #WhatWillYouDo or adding a red ribbon to your social media profile picture. Decision-makers can answer the question by making concrete commitments to work together and find new ways to reduce new cases of HIV and to tackle the stigma people living with HIV face. As Scotland’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework comes to an end in March, we have to grasp the opportunity right now to build a new, more effective response to HIV.”

Various events are also taking place in the city on and around December 1st to commemorate the day – including a Community Gathering for World AIDS Day at St John’s Church and a sponsored sea-swim in Portobello.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said: “World AIDS Day is a chance for Scotland to unite with the world in tackling HIV. It is also a time to remember those who have died, as well as reflect on the progress that has been made over the past 30 years. The Scottish Government continues to work with NHS, third sector and local authority colleagues through the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework to reduce new infections and improve diagnosis, treatment and care for those living with HIV. I hope that the #WhatWillYouDo campaign will make people more aware of HIV and help us work together to ensure that people with HIV live longer healthier lives, free from stigma and discrimination.”

The latest Health Protection Scotland figures show that there are an estimated 4,800 individuals diagnosed and living with HIV in Scotland and that an estimated 24% of those living with HIV haven’t been diagnosed. Evidence suggests that most new HIV cases are a result of transmission from individuals who are unaware of their status – highlighting the need for earlier and more frequent testing.

An average of 356 new cases of HIV have been reported each year for the last four years in Scotland – close to one each day. While many of those diagnosed with HIV are accessing treatment, in 2013, half of those newly diagnosed were already at a late stage of infection – reinforcing the importance of widening access to HIV testing and getting people into treatment and care as early as possible.

Full information about the ‘What Will You Do’ campaign, events and HIV and AIDS are available at www.aidsdayscotland.com. Red ribbons can be added to social media profiles at www.bit.ly/getribbon and campaigners invite everyone in Scotland to tweet using #WhatWillYouDo to show support.

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If you are keen on saving the planet by using less paper this Christmas, then use our sister site EdinburghReportage to send your Christmas greetings to customers or friends and family. You can make a video greeting from the office, your living room, somewhere interesting in Edinburgh, or somewhere unusual in the world to send your greetings to people who live here.

Get creative! Sing, dance, use flash cards in your video. Or you can just send a written message or a photo with a message….

Whatever you do use EdinburghReportage to get your message across! Click here.

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Do you have an old bike gathering dust in a shed or garage? Then you could donate it to the Bike Station for recycling. They will either use the parts or renovate the whole bike for sale.

More information on The Bike Station website here.

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Now you can study in your own time using the University of Edinburgh course which will teach you all about physics, the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson, and you don’t even have to leave your own house.

This free online course introduces the theoretical tools needed to appreciate the discovery, and presents the elementary particles that have been discovered at the tiniest scales ever explored. Beginning with basic concepts in classical mechanics, the story unfolds through relativity and quantum mechanics, describing forces, matter and the unification of theories with an understanding driven by the tools of mathematics.

Narrating the journey through experimental results which led to the discovery in 2012, the course invites you to learn from a team of world-class physicists at Edinburgh University. Learners participate in discussion of the consequences of the Higgs boson, to physics and cosmology, and towards a stronger understanding and new description of the universe.

The course starts on 27 January 2015 and you will find out more about booking your place here.