Today is World AIDS Day and it’s probably one of the awareness days closest to my heart, if not to say the one which is absolutely closest to my heart. I am part of the queer community and during my time as a conference organiser (quite a few of which were HIV/AIDS conferences), I met quite a few people who were infected in the 1970s/80s when no one knew what the hell was going on, people who have seen their friends die, people who have faced and still face discrimination and are stigmatised because of their illness.
The number of new infections each year is still shockingly high 30 years later (2.7 million people worldwide in 2007; 7,298 new diagnoses in the UK in 2008; over a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed).
I had a bit of a look around and found a mailing list/website for bareback parties in Berlin, where in the rules they explicitly mention various STDs but never once HIV/AIDS. Unbelievable.
HIV/AIDS can be prevented and is treatable. If only knowledge, education and treatment was available to everyone who needs it. This year's motto for the World AIDS Day is "Universal Access and Human Rights". Have a look:
Spread awareness to keep the disease from spreading:
1. Wear the ribbon
for example, this one:
(please don't hotlink, thank you! :))
2. Post the video on your personal LJ, in your common rooms, wherever:
3. Please link us to other videos, information, websites that you find worth sharing. That would be much appreciated.
Care for some further reading? (a lot of it) The 2010 UNAIDS report
Want to test your knowledge on HIV/AIDS? AVERT has a quiz
to test your knowledge.
On the World AIDS Day website
, you will find (among many other things; be sure to have a look at the website), a list of common myths about HIV/AIDS