World AIDS Day is held each year on the 1st of December. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the fight against HIV as well as a chance to show support for people living with HIV and to remember the people who have passed away from AIDS.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus which can lead to AIDS if not treated. Unlike other viruses, humans can’t get rid of the HIV virus completely, even with treatment. This sadly means that once you get HIV, you have it for life.
So what is AIDS? AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the most severe phase of HIV infection. It is a disease in humans which causes a severe loss of the body’s cellular immunity. This means that the resistance to infections is lowered and so life threatening infections like cancer can thrive.
AIDS is a leading killer of young people worldwide. Currently, there are 39. million people living with HIV and 59% of these people have access to treatment.
Currently, no effective cure exists. However, with thorough medical care, HIV can be controlled and therefore people living with HIV who are on effective treatments can have a normal life expectancy.
More people are now receiving treatment than ever before. AIDS related deaths have been reduced by more than 51% since the peak in 2004 and in 2017, 80% of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines which prevented the transmission of HIV to their babies.
So how can you help the fight against HIV and AIDS?
To mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Youth Stop AIDS are teaming up with STOPAIDS and lots of groups to hold the ENDAIDS2030 Festival from 26th November to 3rd December.
The aim of the festival is to raise awareness among the public about the UK and global HIV responses and inspire them towards the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030. They want the festival to create as much noise as possible, making the message that we can end AIDS by 2030 if we take action now, loud and clear!
You can find out more by visiting the links!
If you’d like to give your support, why not attend a local event. There are plenty of events and festivals all over the UK where you can help raise awareness.
The Youth Stop AIDS Big Weekend – Leeds
This year we’re taking our fight to end AIDS up to Leeds. Following the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, The Big Weekend will bring together the creativity, radicalism and learning that we need in the fight for global justice.
Red Run 2018 takes place on Saturday the 1st of December 2018 – the 30th World AIDS Day anniversary – the World AIDS Day Red Run is a 10K or 5K charity run through leafy Victoria Park, East London to support 30 essential HIV charities across the UK!
Commemorating The 30th World AIDS Day – Manchester
The World AIDS Day Vigil, awareness-raising and fundraising activities are organised and delivered by the Passionate about Sexual Health (PaSH) Partnership.The PaSH Partnership is a collaboration between BHA for Equality, George House Trust and LGBT Foundation.
World AIDS Day Event – Bristol & Bath Science Park
The Diversity Trust are working with Brigstowe to put on a public event to celebrate World AIDS Day. The event will take place on Tuesday 27th November 2018 from 6.30-8.30pm at the Bristol & Bath Science Park.
Now in its 12th year, 2018 once again sees Brighton & Hove’s LGBT choirs and musicians joining forces to put on their annual World AIDS Day fundraising concert. The venue, BrightonStMary, is a 2 minute walk from the World AIDS Day – Brighton & Hove memorial and the concert is timed to start after the vigil and reading of the names.
Anna is a freelance content creator and an activist who is extremely passionate about the environment. She loves to write and blog about her passions and experiences. In 2018, Anna was a Youth Reporter and volunteer on the ICS placement in Nepal with Restless Development. Many of her articles share stories, tips and advice for future ICS volunteers. Follow Anna on Instagram (@annaashbarryphotovideo) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AnnaAshbarryVolunteering)