Day 4 of Steffi's blog (July 21): Annie Lennox and free hugs

Today was my last day at the Global Village. Time flies by when you’re busy – and having fun! I had another wonderful day –besides the fact that it’s super hot in Vienna- at the conference. After going to the MTV Staying Alive IGNITE event yesterday – which was a well organized and lovely gathering – I rescheduled a meeting with someone at MTV Staying Alive and saw her today; we had a very succesful meeting, so keep your eyes open for more news about our plans on this website soon!And again some good news on the IHAEC front: I was able to find a couple of very interesting potential partners such as Youth Dived Pakistan and China Youth Network. It’s amazing to see so much talent and motivation amongst these young activists. It’s a cliché but so true that they are the future and based on what I’ve seen in Vienna I’m sure the future is in good hands!As you may have seen on my picture from yesterday there is a whole army of Free Huggers at the Conference. You hug them, you get the T-shirt and some love. I’ve know this movement for quite a while - I actually saw it for the first time on the Oprah Winfrey Show – yes I confess, I love Oprah! An Australian guy started with this and it became a sensation. It’s a small world because he was “my hugger” and I started talking with him and he told me that he’s been doing this for a couple of years now. According to him it’s the best job in the world and I can imagine why. The nice thing about the hugging here in Vienna is that the City of Vienna sponsors this action. What a cool thing to do! Antwerp, are you reading this?I can conclud my blog by saying that this has been an amazing experience. I met a lot of interesting people, was able to spread the word on IHAEC and got tons of inspiration. It’s not always easy to fight for this cause and it’s pleasing to see that you’re not the only one who’s doing it. More than 25 000 people from all over the world were present at AIDS 2010 and I think it’s needless to say that each and every one of them is doing an amazing job.  I’d like to thank all of them for making this happen and hopefully our goals – rights, treatment for everyone and an HIV free world- will be realized sooner than we think… Keep fighting!XSteffiOn the picture you see singer and AIDS activist Annie Lennox, who led the Human Rights march through Vienna yesterday and who gave a great performance afterwards PS: And remember: Life’s too short. Have sex. Be safe. Estelle