Ever since 1988, December 1 has been used to bring light to HIV/AIDS and the impact it has on millions of people across the globe with World AIDS Day.
According to UNAIDS, the United Nations program for HIV/AIDS, 35 million people have died from it since it first began to spread. Fortunately, medical advancement has made the disease treatable and allows carriers to live long, happy lives and the frequency of transmission has decreased.
However, there’s still a lot of stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, which leads to a lack of proper education and the continuation of a disproportionate spread in other countries.
World AIDS Day is an opportunity for millions of people to show their support for those affected by the disease, but many don’t know how. This list will offer suggestions on how to do so.
Red has long been the official color for World AIDS Day and many supporters of the cause have elected to sport read in solidarity. The most common way this is done is by wearing a red ribbon, which can either be purchased through the World AIDS Day website or their many partners.
Multiple companies have also come out with their own means of support. Such as Apple releasing a line of red-themed products in partnership with (RED).
HIV/AIDS research has come a long way over the past 40 years, and that’s in large part due to the funding it’s received through donations. But there’s still much more work to be done. There’s a number of ogranizations that you could donate to, some of which are local and others spread their efforts across the world.
A quick Google search can offer you a list of organizations to potentially donate to, but here are a few suggestions:
Note: If you’re able, it’s encouraged to donate on a recurring basis.
Educate [Yourself And] Others
Despite years of research, many of the disproved stigma around the disease are still believed by far more people than they should be. For example, many still hold the belief that it’s a disease meant to specificially target the LGBTQ community or that it can be transferred just by having physical contact with someone.
It’s best to educate yourself on HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention and treatment so that you can do the same with others and remove the incorrect notions that often lead to the ostracization and mistreatment of those who have been infected.
Here are some links where you can read up on HIV/AIDS:
Know Your Status
Being tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is the first line of defense against transmission. It is also a way to reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS.
Photo Credit: Wiki Commons