What is World AIDS Day?
World AIDS Day is held on 1st December every year. It gives everyone across the world the opportunity to unite and fight against HIV. It also gives people the chance to show their support for people living with the illness as well as remembering and commemorating the people have died from it. The first ever global Worldwide AIDS Day took place in 1988.
Why does World AIDS Day matter?
HIV is one of the most destructive pandemics in global history. Currently, around 100,000 people in the UK are living with the condition, with a further estimated 34 million around the world. Between 1981 and 2007, more than 25 million people have died from the virus.
Over the years, we’ve come to understand a lot more about the condition and many scientific advances have been made to treat HIV, with laws in place to protect people living with the virus. Discrimination and stigma still remain a very real problem for people living with the condition.
Nevertheless, many people still aren’t aware of the facts about HIV and how they can protect themselves from contracting it.
World AIDS Day is vital in reminding the Government and the public that HIV has not gone away and shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s therefore crucial that we continue to increase awareness, raise money, improve education and fight existing prejudices.
What can I do on World AIDS Day?
World AIDS Day gives everyone an opportunity to learn the facts about HIV. Education and empowerment is key, as is ensuring that everyone living with HIV is treated fairly, with understanding and respect.
If you understand how the virus is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the realities of living with HIV in the modern world, then you’re in a better position to take care of your own health and the health of other people.
Wearing a red ribbon – the international symbol of HIV – is a way of raising awareness and showing your support for people living with the virus.
You can also raise money for NAT (National AIDS Trust) as another way to show your support. Events and fundraisers take part all across the country, so see what events are taking part in your region and get involved. And don’t forget, you can fundraise any time of the year.
After World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is a fantastic chance to raise awareness and get everyone talking and fundraising. However, it’s vital that we continue to raise awareness all year round – and NAT has launched HIV aware, an interactive and fun website packed with all the information you need to know about the virus.