World Aids Day 1 December 2021
22 November, 2021
Did you know that World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day? It was founded in 1988 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, although the idea came to them in August 1987.
Bunn and Netter were public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. They took their idea to the director of the programme, Jonathan Mann, who approved it immediately. Then, in 1996, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS became the main advocate for steering global action on AIDS, with the aim of preventing it from becoming a global pandemic. Sadly, it's estimated that around 38 million people have lost their lives to this awful disease.
Changes in attitudes towards AIDS/HIV
It used to be that people who were diagnosed with HIV were treated as leppers, with little physical contact or human touch for fear of transmission or contraction. HIV was, at times, often viewed as a sexually transmitted disease, too, that carried little sympathy and much finger pointing. Thankfully attitudes have changed and there are now laws in place to protect those who have contracted HIV. Scientific advances have also been made in the treatment of HIV, meaning that we understand so much more about the condition than ever before. But, and despite this good news, today there are an estimated 105,200 people in the UK alone who are living with HIV.
To show your support for the 2021 campaign Rock the Ribbon you can buy the red ribbon to raise vital funds that will help continue to drive scientific developments and support those who need it the most, as the fight to eradicate this disease continues.
After 1 December, you can continue to show your support by signing up to the National AIDS Trust mailing list, where you can stay ahead of the latest developments and get involved as either an activitist or a volunteer. You can also continue to donate throughout the year, if this is a cause you feel particularly pulled towards.
There are free fundraising packs for schools and a comprehensive fifty-six page fully downloadable HIV Schools Pack that contains:
- Facts on HIV
- The relevancy of teaching about HIV
- Various Lesson Plans
- Promot Cards; and
- Real life scenarios for discussion
So wear your red ribbon today with pride and become a champion for the rights of those living with HIV.