This Saturday 12/1 is World AIDS Day and the theme from 2011-2015 is “Getting to Zero”. This is the day to unite the world in this fight against AIDS, to support people living with the disease and to remember the people who have died from the disease.
1) Zero New HIV Infections: the CDC estimates that 33.3 million people worldwide have HIV, with 1.2 million of those in the United States (with an expected 50,000 new cases in America each year) these cold hard facts display the urgent need for awareness, testing, and preventative measures across the board
2) Zero Discrimination: the negative stigma and assumptions about AIDS only enable the disease and its nickname as the Silent Killer, social awareness and tolerance will help those who are infected seek treatment and take precautions
3) Zero AIDS Related Deaths: according to the CDC, only 1/3 of the 15 million people living with HIV worldwide are receiving the treatment they need to decrease death rates and improve quality of life
How To Help Raise Awareness:
- Educate: Understanding the facts about the prevalence of AIDS as well as the methods for prevention will encourage action and encourage communication. By talking about this international epidemic we can all do our part to increase awareness, participation, and reduce stigma.
- Participate: there are events worldwide including but not limited to: concerts, art and comedy shows, bar and club events, walks, and religious observations…most of them are focused on being fun while you help out! Use your local news outlets to find agencies, religious institutions, or universities near you who are doing their part for the cause. CBS local for example, has websites for cities all across the US and their respective AIDS Day 2012 commemorative events.
- Fundraising and Donations: there are numerous websites are in place where you can not only donate money, but get ideas for ways to start your own fundraiser, or support merchandisers who donate a portion of their proceeds to AIDS charities.