Today is December 1. A lot of people are gearing up for the holiday season. Before we get to celebrating, we should all be aware that it is World AIDS Day. This is the day each year that the world comes together to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic affecting our citizens. We recognize those who have succumbed to the disease, and we celebrate those who are still living with it.
World AIDS Day was a concept first thought of in August of 1987 by two public information officers, James Bunn and Thomas Netter, at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Through their work with Dr. Jonathan Mann, the director of the Global Programme on AIDS, World AIDS Day had its first official observance on December 1, 1988. Throughout the years there have been various themes. This year’s theme is Universal Access and Human Rights.
This year, some of your favorite celebrities are dying so that children with AIDS can live. Various stars, like Ryan Seacrest, Alicia Keys, Serena Williams, and Kim Kardashian, are participating in a digital death, meaning they will not use social media like Facebook and Twitter, until they collectively raise $1 million for children living with AIDS in Africa and India. (Go here to donate.) Also, various cities around the world are hosting events. Be sure to see what’s going on in your city.
Mostly importantly, know your status. Go get tested. There are numerous clinics and hospitals around the country that offer free, anonymous testing. It will take about 20 minutes to have your mouth swabbed (no needles!) and to get your results. Be sure to take your partner or a friend with you. To lower your risk of catching HIV/AIDS, always practice safe sex. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.
- World AIDS Day (towleroad.com)
- Jennifer Hudson, Serena Williams and Usher Will Die a ‘Digital Death’ for World AIDS Day (theroot.com)