World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. World AIDS Day is December 1.
Around the world, about 37 million people are living with HIV. In the United States, about 44,000 people get infected with HIV every year.
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. It’s important that everyone ages 15 to 65 gets tested for HIV at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often.
How can World AIDS Day make a difference?
We can use this day to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, encourage people to get tested, and take action to support people living with HIV.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Encourage people to get tested for HIV. Let them know that some health clinics offer free HIV testing.
- Talk to parents about teaching their kids the basics of safe sex.
- Wear a red ribbon, the symbol of HIV awareness and support. Tell people why you are wearing it. You can order a red ribbon online — or make your own.
How can I help spread the word?
We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:
Take action to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS.
- Partner with a local health center to offer free HIV testing at your workplace or organization.
- Host a forum with a local public health official to discuss HIV prevention and the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.
- Encourage members of your organization to provide canned goods or other donations to support those living with HIV/AIDS.
- Host a fundraising event, such as a bake sale or community run/walk, to raise money for a local HIV/AIDS organization.
- Include an article in your next newsletter to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and encourage your members to find an HIV testing location.
Adapted from the World AIDS Day Campaign.
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