World AIDS Day is December 1 of every year. On this day, we show support for people living with HIV and we remember those we lost in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We also strengthen our resolve to end HIV.
The 2022 theme for World AIDS Day is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.” Many still experience inequalities when accessing basic health services. Not everyone has the same opportunity for HIV testing, treatment, and even condoms. This is even truer for newer technologies, such as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP for HIV is medicine given that prevents HIV.
We identified the first cases of HIV more than 40 years ago. Yet, there are many who do not know basic facts about HIV. Many do not know how to protect themselves and others from HIV. Stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many living with HIV.
World AIDS Day is important because we must always remind each other that HIV has not gone away. We must increase awareness, fight prejudice and stigma, and improve education.
What Can I Do?
There are many events occurring nationally for World AIDS Day. If you are looking to register an event to the public or looking to attend an event, please visit www.worldaidsday.org/events/.
Additionally, the website includes a memorial space where you can create a tribute to a loved one: www.worldaidsday.org/memorials/.
Find and share resources from national campaigns on your social media:
Visit a local community-based organization and volunteer your services. Wear a red ribbon proudly while helping them. To find a local organization that provides HIV services, visit Resource Connections (https://bit.ly/vdhconnections), or call the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline at (800) 533-4148.
What about the rest of the year?
World AIDS Day is just one day of the year. The other 364 days of the year are as important in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
We must always combat inequalities and stigma. Share information for awareness and educational purposes. Volunteer at local agencies that may need help. Continue to help in the fight against HIV so we can live in a world where HIV is a thing of the past.
If you have questions or need help for yourself or a loved one, call the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline. You can reach a counselor toll free at (800) 533-4148. The Hotline operates Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm. They are closed for Virginia state holidays.