Every year on the 1 December people across the globe mark World AIDS Day: the international day to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses, to prevent new cases of HIV and to stand in solidarity with people living with the virus.
Here in Scotland we want to pull together and make the most of the opportunity these dates give us. This year we want everyone to get involved in some way and help us ask Scotland: What Will You Do? We are hoping as many people as possible will join in and add #WhatWillYouDo and a ribbon to their Facebook or Twitter profile pictures, or share photos and posts of what they’re doing for to mark World AIDS Day, using #WhatWillYouDo
Although 1 December is World AIDS Day, AIDS isn’t something we talk about much in Scotland these days. It is a medical term only used when HIV has really seriously damaged a person’s immune system to the point where they are very ill. It’s really rare for anyone to get that ill in Scotland now, thanks to improving HIV medication and increasing testing that means people are diagnosed and on treatment much earlier.
But while AIDS is less of an issue for people in Scotland than it once was, HIV certainly hasn’t gone away. Last year 285 new people were diagnosed with HIV in this country. There’s a lot everyone can do to help prevent new cases, from knowing the facts about HIV and how it’s transmitted, to making sure you use condoms, never sharing injecting kit, and getting tested regularly if you think you might be at risk.
Another simple thing we can all do is think about how it would feel to have HIV, and to challenge the stigma and prejudice that people living with HIV face. A good place to start is by learning some facts about HIV; like that it can’t be passed on by things like touching, kissing, sharing cups or toilet seats.
So this year, please join us and mark World AIDS Day and HIV Testing Week by asking yourself and people you know: What Will You Do? Add a ribbon to your profile picture, get ideas and information at www.AIDSdayScotland.com, or follow the campaign on Twitter or Facebook and share posts www.facebook.com/AIDSdayScot) and then share what you’ll be up to using #WhatWillYouDo.
If you have put yourself at risk you can get tested at your local sexual health clinic click here for more information, or if you would like details of Injecting Equipment Provision site please Click here