Every December 1, the world collectively works together to raise AIDS awareness by commemorating the day as World AIDS Day in an effort to raise money for AIDS treatment and research. The theme of World AIDS Day 2010 is Universal Access and Human Rights:
The theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, recognising these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved. Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services. The protection of human rights is fundamental to combating the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Violations against human rights fuel the spread of HIV, putting marginalised groups, such as injecting drug users and sex workers, at a higher risk of HIV infection. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination. World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us – individuals, communities and political leaders – to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care are met.
If you would like to participate in the World AIDS Day campaign in an effort to commemorate the theme of Universal Access and Human Rights, you can get more information on how to do so HERE. OR, you can do something as simple as wearing a red ribbon today to show your commitment to fighting to find a cure for AIDS:
The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round and particularly around World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment. The red ribbon started as a “grass roots” effort; as a result there is no one official AIDS ribbon manufacturer, and many people make their own. It’s easily done – just use some ordinary red ribbon and a safety pin! If you want to take your awareness raising a step further then try finding a local event to take part in. Around the world there are hundreds of activities taking place to mark World AIDS Day, including candlelight vigils, art shows, marches and religious services. If you can’t find anything in your area then why not organise an event yourself?
Even simpler, you can make your mark on a social network calendar and help turn the world red by participating today in the #turnred campaign:
Wednesday, December 1 marks (RED)’s World AIDS Day, where landmarks around the world will be illuminated in red lights to highlight the cause of HIV/AIDS prevention. The organization’s goal is for the year 2015 to mark the beginning of the first AIDS-free generation. To raise awareness, social network users can help to turn a map of the world red using Twitter and Facebook or by attending a (RED) Meetup. Foursquare users can also participate by including the hashtag “#turnred” when they check in at any location, which will unlock a special (RED) badge. The checkins (if they’re posted to Twitter), tweets and Facebook profile photos will be posted to a map on the (RED) website. Countries that see the most activity across the different channels will turn a deeper shade of red. You’ll be able to filter the activities based on the social network — foursquare included — that generated it. (RED)’s primary objective is to raise awareness and funds for the Global Fund, which supports efforts to eliminate AIDS in Africa. A significant portion of their funds are raised by brands like Apple and Gap that offer special (RED) versions of their products and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Global Fund. You can follow (RED) on foursquare to find retailers near you that offer (PRODUCT) RED.
World AIDS Day is all about raising awareness, doing something very simple in unison with millions of people around the world can help make a difference. Silence = Death. I urge you to make the commitment today to be silent no longer.