World AIDS Day is held on the 1st 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, held for the first time in 1988.
Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, 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. Too many people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
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.
I spoke with our good friend Eliane Becks Nininahazwe about the Day and she is making plans for events as well. She will be celebrating it with women and children refugees from the AZC camp in Amersfoort on Friday November 30. She will be once again sharing her story through music and dance. The women in the camp, Syrian, Sudanese, Somalian and others need a positive energy and Eliane is going to share hers with them From 13:00 till 15:30