This year’s World AIDS Day observance on December 1 is the 25th commemoration of the opportunity to bring attention to the impact of the HIV epidemic. We at AIDS.gov know some event planners may not focus year round on HIV awareness, yet want to plan an activity for December 1. With this in mind, and building on this year’s theme of “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation,” today we offer some questions and resources to help planners to get ready to mark World AIDS Day.
Who should you involve?
Successful observances start from an understanding of the HIV epidemic in your community. These Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheets can jump start thoughts about identifying your intended audience. The CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas can help you look at the epidemic in your area.
Understanding how World AIDS Day activities can reinforce key messages related to the Executive Order and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the HIV Care Continuum Initiative video explains why we all need to improve HIV prevention, care and treatment. It may help you think about who you want to partner with to plan your event. Who else in your community can share the responsibility for planning?
What are your objectives?
Once you know who you want to communicate with, it helps to set specific objectives related to HIV prevention, stigma, or testing. The AIDS.gov HIV basics section provides facts about prevention, provides an overview of HIV related stigma and discusses HIV testing in ways that can help you focus your objectives.
What strategies can you use?
A wide range of communication strategies can help you meet your objectives. AIDS.gov has an event planning guide that can help you choose your activities. We encourage organizations to participate in the Facing AIDS photo sharing initiative to enable individuals to speak out about stigma. To support HIV testing, organizations can share the HIV Testing Sites and Care Services Locator to help individual find nearby HIV testing services (this video makes it easy to demonstrate it).
What tools will you use?
We at AIDS.gov believe that effective HIV related communication combines both social media and traditional tools. Our new media one pagers can help event planners tap Twitter, Facebook and more to extend the reach of their messages. Customizable posters, logos and more are available for download. On our World AIDS Day page, we’ll add resources often through December. Many federal resources are available as well. For example, the web banners and videos from CDC Act’s Against AIDS campaigns reinforce HIV awareness and encourage testing. We encourage you to share our YouTube videos .
Don Griner (Falls Church, VA) said “Our church community used these questions to help plan our World AIDS Day health fair”. These four questions may help you get ready for this year’s observance.
This World AIDS Day, event planners can “share the responsibility” by planning an observance event. We hope you will visit AIDS.gov for these resources and more, and please let us know your World AIDS Day plans.