Friday, December 7, 2007

World AIDS Day

There was a World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day was this past Saturday, December 1st. A number of events happened around the Boston area to help raise awareness of the pandemic, and hopefully you were able to particpate in some of them!

World Vision sponsored the Boston World AIDS Day: 6,000 Campaign at City Hall Plaza. The Global Health Initiative at Boston University partnered with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra for a symposium on campus of music, film, and performance dedicated to spreading awareness.

For-profit organizations were also in the mix – a number of Boston area restaurants designated proceeds from a portion of their menu to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.

It really is inspiring to see organizations throughout the community come together for a given cause. I just wish their collective voices were louder. World AIDS Day was barely promoted in the Boston area - OYFP Boston didn't know it was going on until it was over! Aside from "Red" Campaign ads plastered in local GAP stores, the issue receives very little media attention in the area. While AIDs and HIV infection rates have decreased in the U.S. and in many countries across the world, about 33 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS.*

I think, no -- I know that there is more we can do to spread awareness and to enhance our understanding of what is being done to fight against HIV/AIDS.

An upcoming opportunity to learn about the issue and ways to potentially affect change is a World AIDS Day discussion featuring Diveena Cooppan from South Africa Partners that will take place at the NonProfit Center in Boston on December 13. It's also not too early to sign up for the annual AIDS Walk Boston, scheduled for June 1, 2008. The earlier you sign up, the more time you'll have to raise funds that will go to research, preventing new infections and optimizing the health of those already infected.

What are you waiting for? Get up and go - show HIV/AIDS that the battle will not be over until a cure is found.

*According to the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

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