Today is December 1st, which marks World Aids Day every year. Today is an opportunity for anyone and everyone across the world to unite in the fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This is a day for those impacted to share their experiences, for all to remember those who are lost, and to raise awareness.
It is estimated that there are 38 million people worldwide living with HIV, and since its discovery in 1984, it is estimated that more than 35 million individuals have died due to HIV or AIDS related illnesses. Many scientific advancements have been made in HIV treatment since its discovery, but the disease remains a public health concern.
Each World AIDS day focuses on a different theme, and this year, the theme is “Equalize”. UNAIDS, in choosing this theme, urges each of us to address the inequalities holding back the progress in ending AIDS. It is a call to action.
UNAIDS cites four practices that are needed to address the inequalities surrounding AIDS, or in other words, to “Equalize”.
- Increase the availability, quality, and suitability of HIV treatments, testing, and prevention.
- Reform laws, policies, and practices to tackle the stigma that those living with HIV face, and in addition specifically those that minority groups living with HIV face.
- Ensure technology is shared between the Global South and North so that there is equal access to the best HIV science.
- Communities and individuals should adapt the “Equalize” message and share the inequalities they face, and to press for actions that are needed to address them.
What can you do?
Today is the day marked to show support for people living with HIV, but while World Aids Day only comes once a year, any day is as good of a day as today to show your support to those living with HIV.
To show your support year-round, you can join the UNAIDS mailing list to stay current with new developments in HIV and to learn how you can get involved.
Spread the word. Take to social media and share facts about the HIV/AIDS pandemic,
If you or a loved one has been affected by HIV or AIDS, make your voice heard by sharing your story.
Attend events, either virtually or in person, that support awareness activities.
Wear a red ribbon, which is the universal symbol of awareness of support for and solidarity with people living with HIV.
UNAIDS also accepts donations year-round, so if you are feeling compelled, visit their donation portal to support their work in their attempt to equalize and end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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