World AIDS Day will be next month on December 1, as usual. This year's theme is 'Universal Access and Human Rights.' Here're some good resources for helping to get the word out:
- AIDS.gov, World AIDS Day - December 1, 2009 has some great online and offline options for helping publicize and educate.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HIV/AIDS Awareness Days site shows that World AIDS Day is just one of several days selected to raise awareness of this illness.
- AVERT.org has some cute educational games you can play online to help test your own knowledge, as well as learn more.
- The World AIDS Campaign has some multilingual posters and postcards you can download and use.
One especially bright point was this excerpt, which announced the end of the unreasonable HIV/AIDS travel ban:
"Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease -- yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic -- yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country. If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it.
And that's why, on Monday my administration will publish a final rule that eliminates the travel ban effective just after the New Year. Congress and President Bush began this process last year, and they ought to be commended for it. We are finishing the job. It's a step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment, it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives."
Finally, just last week French researchers published the successful findings of a revolutionary gene therapy that used a disable version of HIV to treat a fatal brain disease. This development is amazingly exciting(/scary!), and a great example of making lemonade from the ultimate lemons.
There's still a ways to go in removing the stigma from HIV/AIDS and developing treatments, but by spreading information and raising awareness, we all contribute to an eventual cure.
(And we still encourage you to get a Red Ribbon specialty license plate to help raise awareness and support the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolinas.)