The Step Up Campaign Mission to Mt. Everest was envisioned to combat the deep rooted stigma, discrimination and attitudes our society has towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) & eliminate all forms of Stigma & Discrimination. The Campaign was initially led by Mr. Gopal Shrestha himself who later formed a Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Padam Raj Pahari with the objective of raising funds needed to ascent Mt. Everest and make the campaign successful.
Mr. Gopal Shrestha has been living with HIV for 18 years now. Since his HIV infection, he has been working as a volunteer campaigner and activist in the sector of HIV/AIDS and drug addiction. Braving all the hopelessness, fear and stigma accompanied the disease; he was successful on reaching the summit of Mt. Everest on his 2nd attempt on 22nd May. 2019. During his 1st Attempt on 2015, he survived and avalanche which caused him a broken leg. In that avalanche he lost 5 of his foreign friends. The avalanche occurred after the disastrous earthquake that shook Everest Base Camp.
Step Up Campaign aims to create enabling environment to reduce social stigma which has led many infected to hide their status due to hopelessness, fear of social stigma & later to untimely death. The campaign has proved to be successful in stressing the importance of timely access to ARV treatment & adherence. Mr. Shrestha aims to be an inspiration for other PLHIV to follow in his footsteps. His work has also helped in conveying a message that HIV can be treated.
The campaign also aims in helping to create an environment where new HIV infections do occur, every person regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.
See this amazing video with the glorious moment of reaching Mt. Everest’s Peak on YouTube:
For more information: Gopal Shrestha, [email protected]