Today is World AIDS Day.
Its a day to remember those who have died from AIDS-related causes, including stigma, exclusion and limited availability of, and restricted access to, prevention, treatment and drugs.
To recognize that stigma, exclusion, criminalization and limited availability of, and restricted access to, prevention, treatment and drugs are still major issues for people living with HIV/AIDS, locally and globally.
To the people that aren’t talked about and seen as ‘less deserving’ all too often – gay men, injection drug users, other men who have sex with men, sex workers. (Amanda Hess (and many others) said it first.)
To the children without parents, the parents without children, and the children, parents and grandparents (particularly grandmothers) who are providing care to people living with HIV/AIDS.
To those who are living with HIV, those who are advocates, those who are allies. To those who spend their time and/or money and/or resources to address HIV/AIDS from prevention to treatment. To those who would hug someone with HIV. To those who are learning and thinking and being part of the discussion.
Happy World AIDS Day.
*If you are looking to make a donation in recognition of today, please consider my Stephen Lewis Foundation’s DARE fundraiser or any number of other organizations who are doing good things on the HIV/AIDS front, whether in prevention, diagnosis, treatment or support.
*Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange has a brief introduction to World AIDS Day and a number of events that are happening across the country if you’d like to mark World AIDS Day that way.
*MSF has summarized their take on HIV with text, YouTube and photos. Be sure to take a look.
*If you are buying one of Starbucks’ signature holiday drinks, $0.05 is going to the Global Fund. Maybe this is better than nothing, but it might also be a tricky way for Starbucks to claim they are donating a whole bunch of money to the Global Fund (ahem-corporate-responsibilty-ahem) and for us to convince ourselves consumerism is the answer. Just a thought.