December 1st is World AIDS Day.
Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been celebrated each year on December 1st to commemorate those we have lost to AIDS-related illnesses and to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. It is also an opportunity to remind government and the public that HIV still affects millions of people around the world.
Globally, approximately 32 million lives have been lost due to AIDS-related illnesses. Today, there are 37.9 million people living with HIV around the world, including an estimated 63,110 Canadians.
Each year, people around the world mark World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, and fundraising for AIDS Service Organizations.
This year, UNAIDS has announced the theme of World AIDS Day to be End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics.
In order to close the gaps and end the HIV epidemic in Canada, we need to increase national efforts to address the systemic inequalities that lead to different populations being disproportionately affected by HIV.
This includes efforts to decolonize education and the healthcare system, address the housing crisis, advocate for universal access to lifesaving medications like HIV treatment and PrEP, and making mental health services more accessible/available to all.
An initiative called Voices for World AIDS Day that started 15 years ago is held each year in Canada and is the largest HIV collaborative initiative in Canada marking World AIDS Day.
Together, we can raise our voices to remember those we have lost to AIDS, support those living with HIV, and challenge HIV/AIDS stigma. You can learn more about Voices for World AIDS Day and how you can join the conversation and show your support on World AIDS Day here: https://www.voicesforworldaidsday.ca/
What you can do on World AIDS Day:
On World AIDS Day, some things you can do to show your solidarity and support are:
- Wear a red ribbon to commemorate those we have lost to AIDS-related illnesses and stand in solidarity with people living with HIV
- Raise awareness about HIV/AIDS by having conversations with friends, family, and colleagues and by engaging on social media
- Support a local AIDS Service Organization by making a donation or attending one of their events
AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador (ACNL) programs and services supported over 3,000 people provincially in the last year. Please consider supporting us, every dollar helps us continue to provide support and services to people who need them. Donate here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/1050
Films and documentaries to watch this World AIDS Day:
FREE: Watch “HIV Made Me Fabulous,” a short film about living and loving as a woman with HIV: https://www.lifeandlovewithhiv.ca/film/?doing_wp_cron=1638194152.9737811088562011718750
FREE: Watch “Ageing & HIV: A Story of Resiliency,” a documentary that chronicles the life, stories, and living/lived experience of a group of people living with HIV (PHAs) in southwestern Ontario, Canada: https://agingandhiv.com/view-film