Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day. This year was an important one for those of us working to respond to HIV — from the signing of the Affordable Care Act, to the release of the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, to the exciting news about PrEP and microbicides.
On World AIDS Day, I want to pause to reflect on the vision laid out in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which says: “The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”
That’s a vision I believe in, and one I will work tirelessly with my colleagues around the country, and the world, to support. That’s why I’m Facing AIDS this World AIDS Day. I hope you’ll join me. Here’s a few things we can all do:
- Share your photos and messages in the Facing AIDS Flickr group . By putting our faces to AIDS, we can help reduce the stigma around HIV and promote HIV testing. It’s not too late to add yours!
- Locate HIV testing and other HIV services: Use and share the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Providers Locator and add the widget to your website or blog. You can also send a text message with your ZIP code to “KNOWIT” (566948) or visit HIVtest.org .
- Learn about and share the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Read the Strategy [PDF 1.34 MB] and talk about it with your friends and colleagues — what would it take to make the goals of the Strategy real in your community?
- Read Secretary Sebelius’ World AIDS Day message: Available here on HHS.gov.
On World AIDS Day, I think of the 37 friends I’ve lost to AIDS-related illnesses, and the friends who are still with me, living strong with HIV. I’m grateful for all of you who work so tirelessly to respond to HIV, and I’m proud to join you in Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day.