Sunday, 30 November 2014

City centre lights up red in support of World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
In Scotland this year, Businesses and landmarks across Aberdeen city centre will turn their lights red in support of World AIDS Day tomorrow.
The city council’s Marischal College, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen University’s King’s College Chapel and the Cheerz gay bar and club are highlighting the What Will You Do About HIV campaign by lighting their premises and handing out information leaflets about the disease.
They will be among 80 buildings and landmarks across Scotland being illuminated in support of the cause.
The campaign, which is run by a coalition of charities, campaigners and local health boards, seeks to ask Scottish people to think actively about what they can do to reduce new cases of HIV and tackle the stigma that HIV sufferers still face in Scotland.
George Valiotis, of the HIV Scotland charity, said: “It’s fantastic to see people and organisations across Aberdeen supporting World AIDS Day and talking about HIV.
“As a national we must use World AIDS Day this year to take a good hard look at where we are in our response to HIV.”

Why is World AIDS Day important?

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

What should I do on World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our 
online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts.
You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.
World AIDS Day is also a great opportunity to raise money for NAT (National AIDS Trust)and show your support for people living with HIV. If you feel inspired to hold an event, bake sale or simply sell red ribbons, click here to get started. If you'd like to see what other events are taking place — click here and find out more.

But what about after World AIDS Day?

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraise, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. That's why NAT has launched HIVaware — a fun, interactive website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV. Why not use what you have learnt on World AIDS Day to Act Aware throughout the year and remember, you can fundraise at any time of year too — NAT is always here to give you suggestions and ideas.

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