Thursday, 1 December 2011


“We are the carriers of health and disease - either the divine health of courage and nobility or the demonic diseases of hate and anxiety” - Joshua Loth Liebman

The 1st of December 2011, marks the 23rd annual ‘World AIDS Day’. This global awareness commemoration was established by the World Health Organization (WHO), in an attempt to raise public awareness about HIV infection, including the need for support and understanding for people living with HIV. Today, more than 160 countries participate in World AIDS Day. Events planned in these countries serve to provide a global response to HIV infection, which is an issue impacting upon the lives of millions of men, women and children, across all demographics, races and religions throughout the world.

HIV infection is not just relevant to developing countries, homosexuals and drug addicts. It is relevant to every person in the world, as an important issue affecting our society. Currently there are around 17,500 people living with HIV in Australia, with approximately 5,722 of these in Victoria. Every three days, two Victorians are diagnosed with the virus, meaning there are more people living with HIV here than ever before.

HIV can infect an unborn child in an HIV positive woman. It can be diagnosed in a health worker who has been accidentally exposed to HIV positive blood. HIV infection can occur in an emergency worker who has contracted the virus assisting victims at the scene of an accident. The infection can be found in the wife of an infected man who contracted the virus in examples such as those aforementioned. HIV infection can occur in a tourist returning from a trip abroad and who received hospital treatment in a high-incidence country.

There are many activities that everyone can participate in to become a ‘World AIDS Day Advocate’ this December. Volunteer to help sell merchandise, collect donations and distribute red ribbons on World AIDS Day. Rather than sell red ribbons, volunteers are handing them out on December 1st and hoping that recipients will make a donation to further research into the disease and help to alleviate the distress of sufferers. Vital funding is required for education about HIV infection and prevention of HIV infection. Many people are instrumental in organising activities and collecting donations at their workplace, school or club.

By wearing a red ribbon or other red clothing on World AIDS Day, participants help to generate vital awareness surrounding HIV infection. Advocate tell others about World AIDS Day so that family, friends and colleagues become aware of HIV infection, helping to spread the word far and wide. By participating in World AIDS Day activities you:
•    Acknowledge the ongoing problems that HIV infection is causing worldwide.
•    Contribute to fundraising efforts, which directly assist people living with HIV.
•    Confront the ongoing stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV.
•    Increase awareness surrounding HIV and its transmission.
•    Help to commemorate the millions of lives lost as a result of the epidemic.

December 1st is the day when you inform yourself, educate others and pledge your support to World AIDS Day. For more information about HIV infection, see:

CDC - Basic Information about HIV and AIDS

Department of Health, Victoria, Australia

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)

New York Times Health

1 comment:

  1. An important anniversary and a disease that many people have become complacent about. Thanks, Nicholas.