One of the best ways to fight stigma and empower HIV positive people is by speaking out openly and honestly about who we are and what we experience.
-Alex Garner, HIV Activist
We live in a globe of stigma and intolerance, too often, coming out to say your status is met with anger, criticism, and possibly even hostility. The most common emotion that people experience upon learning that they are HIV positive is shame. It is a critical and paralyzing emotion that has no advantages and serves no purpose. Speaking out is one of the best remedy to shame. When people speak openly and boldly about their HIV status, we can find genuineness and empowerment that can help to foster a stronger and healthier society.
World AIDS day is celebrated every year all over the world on 1st of December to raise the public awareness about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is a pandemic caused due to the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The day is celebrated by the government organisations, NGOs, civil societies and other health institutions, dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus.
The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed to such a day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic and nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) aspires to continue encouraging all members to organise programmes to combat the causes of AIDS pandemics and other deadly diseases. We prioritise in bringing awareness about the HIV/AIDS issue to the youth globally. In 2006, WAY published a book entitled ‘World Responses to HIV/AIDS Pandemic’ available at the following link: http://www.way.org.my/books/category/world-responses-to-hiv-aids-pandemic.
We believe it is the opportunity for young people to work actively and collaboratively with partners and other stakeholders around the world to raise awareness about HIV and help us move closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
Happy World AIDS Day!