Red ribbons sported by your friends, family, coworkers and strangers aren’t just to ring in the Yuletide cheer today. December 1st is a day to create awareness, reduce prejudice, raise funds, and increase education for AIDS.
World AIDS Day this year promotes ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’ by
reminding people that the fight against HIV/AIDS continues as the number of adults and children living with HIV and AIDS related deaths climb.
Part of Worlds AIDS Day is to learn about HIV/AIDS prevention and become more educated to overcome HIV/AIDS correlated discrimination. No matter where you are in this world, perhaps you can take a moment out of your day to acknowledge on those you know affected by HIV/AIDS. And if you have a few moments reflect on the 33.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe.
- 33.3 million people live with HIV/AIDS today, this includes 2.5 million children
- In the year 2009 alone, 2.9 million people were newly infected with the virus
- 1.8 million people died from AIDS in 2009
- HIV/AIDS threatens lower and middle-income countries; men, women and children are vulnerable
Millennium Development Goals
These statistics are startling but true. In addition to the efforts of Worlds AIDS Day, the United Nations compiled eight Millennium Development Goals to complete by 2015 in hopes of improving poverty stricken countries. The sixth anti-poverty goal is focused on combating HIV/AIDS. To stop and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS the UN recognized that there is still a lack of knowledge among young people on how to protect themselves from HIV. Educating women about AIDS empowers a whole community,encouraging the use of contraceptives like condoms in low-income households and decreasing gender-based violence can halt the endemic of HIV/AIDS.
In 2010, the UN reached to provide universal access of HIV/AIDS treatment for anyone who needed it. Keep up with the Millennium Development Goals progress here.
Awareness and Action
Here are some others ways to be involved.
- LEARN – Discover more statistics, learn more about HIV/AIDS and read about the efforts of World AIDS Day.
- MEDIA – Share your knowledge and raise awareness by posting a brief message or image on Facebook, Twitter, or your preferred form of social/new media. Here are some great posters ready to share.
- GATHER – Find a World AIDS Day event to attend. Show your support and build a community with other individuals.
- RAISE – Don’t feel restricted to simply donating money or wearing a ribbon. If you’re feeling creative, try organizing an event (eg. benefit show, bake sale, auction, marathon, or something quirky like shaving your head, kicking a bad habit and asking people for donations in support).
ODW is supporting HIV/AIDS related causes:
ODW currently has two projects (grants) that are supporting HIV/AIDS related causes:
- Zimele’s Home Care Project provides supplies and transportation to women who care for patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
- Sustainable Development Research Foundation (SDRF) gives HIV/AIDS affected families a chance to rise out of poverty and create a sustainable life.
We need to do more than simply wear ribbons. How will you act?