World AIDS Day by Kate

katie06's picture

December 1st is World AIDS Day.  While I should be happy that the world acknowledges the day, I am a bit disappointed.  My disappointment comes from the fact that World AIDS Day is just that - one day.  Only one day!  I live with this disease every day!

I sometimes get frustrated that HIV/AIDS is allotted one day, while there seems to be an entire month dedicated to breast cancer awareness.  Every October, as I walk through the grocery store aisles, there appears to be a product on every shelf in pink packaging, signifying that proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.  Why isn’t there something like that for HIV/AIDS?  I want to walk down the grocery store aisles and see products in red packaging signifying that proceeds will be donated to HIV/AIDS research.

I can’t help but feel that the stigma behind HIV/AIDS is the reason that there is not more of an outpouring of support.  It’s easier to turn a blind eye and believe that you aren’t at risk, nor are the ones you love.  

I, personally, never believed it could happen to me.  I didn’t use IV drugs.  I was not sexually promiscuous.   I thought I was somewhat immune to HIV/AIDS.  But I was wrong, very wrong.

 So while I will wear red in honor of the day and pay a visit to Starbucks to buy a Product Red coffee, I will not likely do much else.  Simply because, I, like so many others, am guilty of allowing the stigma to dictate the level of my contribution.  I hope that as the years move forward, so will the stigma and the judgement.

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Jennifer's picture

As I read your blog, I realize how in awe I am of you. You go through life every day taking it as it comes and have learned to live for today not knowing what tomorrow brings. I believe eventually America will get it right and the stigma behind the disease will dissipate or at least I hope it will. It's amazing that American can celebrate breast cancer awareness month, but any other disease is not thought about for any other month, just a day here and a day there. Live for the day when we can walk through the stores and see red lines of hope for those with HIV/AIDS.

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Noelle E. Sewell's picture

There are cities that dedicate a month to AIDS Education. In Philadelphia we commemorate AIDS Education Month in June. A series of programs and events that place including a prayer breakfast, youth conference, re-entry conference and a conference on prevention. So I agree there should be more time given the AIDS. Stigma not only still exists for those living with the disease but also for those who work in the field. I am a hetersexual black woman, worked with people living with HIV for almost 30 years and I still get questions as to why I work in the field. So stigma is still present and in many forms.

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