The last four days here in Germany have been dominated by the anti-globalisation protests. The roads are constantly blocked and the police keep telling us to take a different route.
But for me the practical irritation is worth it; such protests really do matter to me. I saw the impact they had two years ago when pressure from civil society at Gleneagles led to debt relief for my country, Mozambique.
One of the sessions at the Alternative G8 Summit drew attention to how AIDS is affecting young people. It brought together young people aged 18 to 25 from different parts of the world.
My older sister lives with HIV. My family and I contribute money for her anti-retroviral drugs and as a result she is well and can work. It used to be very difficult for us, but following the Gleneagles summit the price of the drugs has dropped.
Of course, it makes it easier that I have a large family and many of us are in employment. Of the 1.5 million people living with HIV in Mozambique, only about one in ten has access to anti-retroviral drug treatment. My sister is one of the lucky ones.
Two young AIDS activists spoke at the meeting, one from India and another from South Africa.
I was struck by the grim picture painted by the Indian activist. Of the 5.7 million people affected in his country the majority are young, and the epidemic is moving fast, out of the cities and into the countryside. Children in India are particularly vulnerable, and access to information and services very limited.
The South African told of the huge increase in TB in connection with AIDS, and the importance of education in tackling the epidemic. Both spoke of the need for more funding for drugs from G8 countries.
So when we’re travelling along the country roads here in Germany, and our bus is forced to turn round at a street blockade, you don’t find me objecting.