Archive for : World AIDS Day

Honor World AIDS Day on Dec 1

Back in 1988 when The World Health Organization (WHO) first established World AIDS Day (which we’ll honor on Dec 1), the virus was still fairly new and largely misunderstood. Today, through medical advances and research, we know a lot more about how the virus works, how it is transmitted, and how people with HIV or AIDS can manage their health and lives.

And yet HIV and AIDS continue to be a global epidemic – particularly because there is still no cure. In the United States, more than 1 million people currently live with HIV, and someone is infected with HIV every 9.5 minutes. Globally the situation is even more dire: across the world more than 33 million people live with HIV and AIDS, and 97% of those people live in low and middle-income countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. And according to the WHO, most people who have HIV or at high-risk for it do not have access to prevention, care, or treatment.

Considering these stats it’s clear that, 24 years after it was founded, World AIDS Day remains vital. This year’s theme is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation,” and true to the name, fighting AIDS globally will require many people working together across the world. Here are some ways you can honor the day and make a difference locally and globally:

  • Plan a World AIDS Day event: Check out these resources and tips for planning an AIDS awareness event in your neighborhood. Check out other events and updates on the official #WAD2012 Twitter feed.
  • AFAID: Donate to support the work of this organization, which “provides youth with the tools, knowledge and resources to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and alleviates poverty” in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Firelight Foundation: Support this foundation’s work, which has a mission to “improve the wellbeing of children made vulnerable by HIV, AIDS and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.”
  • AIDS Quilt: Started in 1987, the ever-growing AIDS Quilt is now more than 48,000 panels big (that’s 8,000 blocks long!). Make a panel for the quilt, or host a section of it at your campus or in your community. Find out how here.
  • Project Chicken Soup: Volunteer with or donate to support this Los Angeles-based organization, which delivers free, nutritious, kosher meals to local residents living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • Housing Works: Donate to, volunteer with, (or shop at!) this New York City-based organization/thrift store, which works to “end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.”
  • God’s Love We Deliver: Volunteer with or donate to this organization, which prepares and delivers nutritious, high-quality meals, and offers nutrition education and counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses.
  • AIDS Walk: Help to “change the course of the epidemic.” Sign up to walk and raise money for AIDS research in 2013.

For more information, check out this article that Rachel Farbiarz wrote for AJWS called “The Jewish Response to HIV/AIDS.” Then let us know how you’re observing World AIDS Day by tweeting us at @repairtheworld, or leaving a comment below.

Standing Up for Global Health On World AIDS Day

The first World AIDS Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, combating prejudice against people living with the virus, and raising funds to find a cure – was held in 1988. Back then AIDS was still pretty new in public consciousness.

Today, 23 years later, AIDS is a recognized global epidemic. An estimated 33 million people are living with HIV across the world – 1.2 of them live in the United States and the majority (22.5 million) live in Africa. While great advances have been made in diminishing taboos, educating people about HIV prevention, and finding treatments that help people living with the virus, there is still much work to be done a vast majority of people living with the virus lack access to the resources, medications, or health care that they need.

World AIDS Day kicks off AIDS Awareness Month during the month of December. December is also the month of Hanukkah – a holiday focused on miracles, perseverance, and creating light within the darkness. Help bring the light and hope of Hanukkah into AIDS Awareness Month by participating in one of the service opportunities below.

  • Learn more about the impact of HIV/AIDS by checking out the World AIDS Day website (based in the UK), AIDS.gov (based in the US), or this report, put out by AJWS.
  • Plan an event in your area this month to help raise awareness or funds (or both) for HIV/AIDS research and education. (Find resources here.)
  • Donate to Housing Works an HIV/AIDS advocacy, awareness and education organization.
  • Donate to American Jewish World Service, which works with  partners across Africa and other countries to find on-the-ground solutions to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Check out more of their work in the video below.

How is your community planning to commemorate World AIDS Day and AIDS Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments below!

World AIDS Day 2010: A Link Round Up

Today, December 1 is World AIDS Day, which was established in 1988 and this year’s theme is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” Here are a few informative links about the scope of the challenges and what is being done to increase the accessibility of education, prevention and care to those living with AIDS.

  • The TED blog offers three compelling talks given by Mitchell Besser, Elizabeth Pisani and Annie Lennox, each one highlighting different aspects the global AIDS issue. —  TED Blog
  • Donate to help shelter, counsel, feed and educate over 400 AIDS orphans at the Mzesa Day Care Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. — Global Giving
  • Filmmaker Sheila Johnson writes about the AIDS epidemic closer to home, in Washington, D.C. a city with an HIV/AIDS rate that’s higher than Dakar, the capital city of Senegal in western Africa, and higher than Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She has made a documentary about it called, The Other City. — The Huffington Post