So, I went into http://thestorysiren.com (it's probably my favorite blog out there in the blogsphere), and I came across The Story Siren's current review and in it she mentioned World AIDS Day, that her review was like a tribute to this event. That got me thinking, then researching.
Over at http://portrait-of-a-woman.blogspot.com/ Caroline is working on a certain project dubbed HIVS/AIDS in Young Adult/Teen Literature Week in which she is focusing on bringing awareness to "not only encourage people not to be in situations where they can catch the virus...[but also] to know what it is...in order to not ostracize people who are ill" (Caroline, Portrait of a Woman). And there are people who deal with that fear of being isolated by society, like Alan from London who said, "I would like to see society's attitudes change, so that I don't feel that I have to hide the fact that I have HIV,"or Michael from Somerset who expresses his fear of being discriminated against in the work force when he stated, "I would like it to become possible for people to write they are HIV+ on job application forms without fear of being discriminated against," or John, who lives in fear of telling anyone because of discrimination, "I hope that one day I will be able to discuss my HIV status without fear of discrimination and rejection."
Now, maybe you're wondering why it's important to know all this, to ACT AWARE (which I will get into a little later in the post)? The answer is because through being aware you're taking one step closer toward making a difference in your life, health-wise and how you take care of yourself, in others' lives in the same regard, AND "ensuring you treat everyone living with HIV fairly and with understanding" (WorldAidsDay Website). There are a ton of misconceptions on how the disease is transmitted and the stigma still remains in vast parts of the world...
It is important to understand this: homosexual men are not the only ones capable of getting infected with HIVs; if someone contracts the disease that does not automatically mean that they will die soon; that there are benefits in getting tested for HIV; that people with the disease are able and can work; and that it is imperative to worry about contracting HIVs because there is no known cure for the disease. Don't be deceived by what you hear from other people as there are a million myths on the subject and if you want to get informed correctly you can go (here) and discover how much you actually know about HIVs/AIDs.
I very much encourage YOU as well as ANYONE else you talk to ACT AWARE. It signifies getting up and taking action "making commitments to help improve understanding about HIV [everywhere], prevent HIV transmission and stop prejudice" (WorldAIDSDay Website). Now, one way you can do that is by going to http://www.worldaidsday.org/ and pledge to take action in whatever form you can.
Here's my pledge:
here) for some ideas or (here) to see what others' living with HIVs have to say and perhaps you'll get an idea then.
Want to do something more than pledge? That's great! You can always create a fundraiser, support the website's campaign, support HIVS/AIDS in Young Adult/Teen Literature Week at Portrait of a Woman, or you can go (here) and come up with something else.
It doesn't matter what you decide to do, just be sure to ACT AWARE and take action on this day, December 1st of 2010.
Thanks for reading!