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December - HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

 

What is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month?

National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month begins with World AIDS Day, which was first observed in 1988 as the first ever global health day. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.” It encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care.

Why is World AIDS Day important?

Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have HIV. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. World AIDS Day is important because 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 can I do to help?

Fundraise and Volunteer

There are many existing organizations that work to fight HIV/AIDS and erase the stigma surrounding those living with the virus. You can help support them by fundraising, donating, or volunteering. Local organizations include:

Get Tested

Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early means you can live a full, healthy and productive life. In the US, you can get tested at your healthcare provider's office, sexual health clinic, local health department, and other community health centers, or you can order a self-testing kit from certain pharmacies or online. If you aren't sure where to get tested, scroll to the bottom of this page to find testing sites and care services near you.

Wear a Red Ribbon

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing a red ribbon on the day to raise awareness and fight the stigma that surrounds HIV and AIDS. If you don't have a red ribbon, you can download a virtual one for your profile pictures, email signature, or social media at https://www.worldaidsday.org/virtualribbon/.

Where can I learn more?

You can learn more by checking out the resources linked below.

World AIDS Day Official Website: https://www.worldaidsday.org/

Provides information and resources about World AIDS Day, events, how to get involved, and more.

VA Quality of Care: https://www.va.gov/QUALITYOFCARE/education/hiv-aids-awareness-month

Provides information for veterans and their families on HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, testing, and health.

HIV.gov: https://www.hiv.gov/

Provides information on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, federal response, events, and more.

 

Find HIV/AIDS testing services and care sites near you.

  1. If you know the 5-digit ZIP code of the area where you are, you may get better results. If you don't, you can just use the nearest city and state, like Baltimore, MD, or San Diego, CA.
  2. You can click on the markers on the map to get more information about each location.
  3. You can also view the locations in a list view. Click on the list button.
  4. To get directions to a service provider's location, you can enter the specific address for where you'd like to start from, and directions will be displayed.
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