December 1st is World Aids Day

Here’s an alarming statistic: Nationwide there are approximately 33.4M people living with HIV and approximately 2M die each year from the disease.

World Aids Day is a worldwide movement that seeks to raise money, increase awareness and education, and dispel myths and prejudices surrounding HIV and Aids.  More importantly, it is a reminder for all of us that HIV is still prevalent and there is still much to do in improving the lives of those infected and minimizing the number of new cases reported each year.

The 2010 theme for World Aids Day is Universal Access and Human Rights – two very important components in ensuring that those infected with HIV/AIDS have the same access to medical care and treatment as those without it and are treated fairly, without bias or discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation or medical history.

Remember….there are 33.4M people living with this disease which means there are fewer degrees of separation in who is impacted, either directly or indirectly by HIV/AIDS.  That also means that we all have a responsibility to take actions that protect human and civil rights and demand that appropriate measures for preventing, treating and caring for those affected by HIV/AIDS are taken.

If you’re looking for ways to show your support of World Aids Day or show your support and care for HIV/AIDS, here are a few ideas:

  • Wear a red ribbon (exactly like the one in the photo above)
  • Attend a World Aids Event.  A searchable database of events nationwide can be accessed here.
  • Host a candlelight vigil at your church or community center
  • Volunteer at your local hospital to read to children who were born with HIV/AIDS
  • GET TESTED!!!  To find a listing of facilities offering free HIV/AIDS testing visit www.yourstdhelp.com/free_clinic_locator.html

For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit the DHSS web site at www.nj.gov/health/aids or call the DHSS AIDS hotline at 1-866-HIV-CHECK.

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