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For Me, for You, for Our Community: World AIDS Day

Each year, on December 1st, I celebrate World AIDS Day alongside my community. This day is one that I cherish every year because it raises awareness and sparks conversations across the world.

World AIDS Day gives people around the world an outlet to not only unite in the fight against HIV but also to commemorate those that have passed away from illnesses related to AIDS.

To me, this day is also a day to show support and appreciation for those living with HIV.

Hello, HIV has not gone away

I have been living with HIV for over 7 years now, and I want the world to know that HIV has not gone away and is still very prevalent in our community.

Lately, the world has been a scary place, especially when it comes to public health matters.

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As a community, we have been dealing with both COVID-19 and monkeypox. I feel that I have seen an increase in routine Covid testing but not regular STI and HIV testing.

I hope World AIDS Day this year continues to push education and action within the community. I hope our ongoing political and other public health issues do not overshadow World AIDS Day this year.

Red ribbons and unity

One way to support World AIDS Day is by wearing a red ribbon. The red ribbon is used as a symbol of unity for people living with HIV/AIDS. A great way to show support at your place of work or organization is by giving out these small red ribbons to your employees.

Another way to show your support is by sharing information on HIV/AIDS through various social media platforms. By sharing this information with your social networks, you would be increasing visibility around sexual health and prevention.

The power of creating a safe space

In my opinion, the most important way to support World AIDS Day is by reaching out to those living with HIV or who have lost someone from an AIDS-related illness.

What I plan on doing this year is to start an HIV-positive social group. I used to facilitate one many years ago at a previous organization where I used to work. I have heard many individuals within my community talk about how there is no outlet or safe space for those living with HIV other than through social media. I decided to try again to put together a social group for those living with HIV, which I will launch in December 2022.

For me, for you, and for our community

I am very excited to offer my community once again a safe space to share their thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences around living with HIV.

I know that when I was first diagnosed with HIV, I looked forward to each week when I could attend a social group for men. The group was made up of HIV-positive men of all ages with various stories and experiences. I hope to reshare the joy that I had back then with new individuals who are eager to talk and express their feelings and even those who are having a hard time dealing with their diagnosis.

This upcoming World AIDS Day is for me, for you, and for our community.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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