World AIDS Day (December 1) is a month away and once again we’re using social networking and photos to share messages about how we are all still Facing AIDS. Some of us once knew a world without AIDS, and for others AIDS has been around our entire lifetime. No matter your age or your familiarity with the epidemic and the many people who have been infected or affected, we hope you’ll join us again this year.
At AIDS.gov, we are busy gearing up for this annual observance. We will remember those we’ve lost. We will honor the many people living with HIV who are advocates and build HIV awareness each day. We will reflect on the great strides we have made in responding to this 30-year epidemic. We will acknowledge the continued devastating impact of this epidemic around the world and in our own backyards*.
While these are all important things, most of them involve looking back. But there’s more to World AIDS Day than that. This year’s World AIDS Day theme is: “Leading with Science, Uniting for Action”. It’s a day to look ahead. It’s a day to take action. It’s a day to not only imagine a world without AIDS, but an opportunity to get one step closer as the U.S. prepares to host the AIDS 2012 International AIDS Conference next summer.
Here’s where all of us and our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and community workers come in. Whether you’re already planning a World AIDS Day event or looking for something to do, these are some simple ways to take action:
- Join our Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day photo sharing initiative. It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s social. All you have to do is: Write. Snap. Share.
- Watch this video to learn more.
- ¿Habla espanol? You can also download materials in Spanish.
- Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook as we share a daily message and photo throughout this month.
Together we can not only imagine a world without AIDS, but as the National HIV/AIDS Strategy says, we can help create “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.”
How are you planning to observe World AIDS Day?
*As of 2009, 33.3 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS and of those, 1,657,511 are living in the United States.