Today we commemorate a very important day that does not only symbolize hope, but also knowledge and action. For most, World Aids Day is simply a masquerade of a popular social ritual that has to be performed for the victims of AIDS. In reality it should be something far greater: an opportunity to uplift, educate, support, take action and change the world we live in.
Although perceived as a bit of a jaded topic, much is still myth and taboo surrounding HIV/AIDS . The truer sense of the words: “Knowledge is power” has never been so important as now. We live in an information age where we have the tools to spread the knowledge and information about the illness and how we, as a society can support those who have to live with HIV/AIDS. The first World Aids Day was held in 1988 and today, 26 years later, we still face staggering stats regarding HIV/AIDS transmission.
Visit your local clinic and speak to a doctor or pharmacist or nurse to try and get as much information regarding the illness as possible. Know what are the early warning signs of HIV/AIDS and what preventative measures can be taken to stop the spread of the virus. Since more than 90% of HIV/AIDS cases are attributed to sexual transmission, make sure you and your partner take as much precaution as possible. Ask questions, even if it may seem embarrassing; it might save a life.
The internet is also a great source of information regarding HIV/AIDS. Try and use reputable website sources. We would recommend, in light of World Aids Day, to start with the official WAD website regarding some facts around the illness.
Once you are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, it is very important to get support. Feelings of depression, loneliness and despair my set in. This will also be a critical time to gain some more information on how to live with the illness as well as what lifestyle changes need to be made in order to live a fulfilling and happy life during this time.
- What you can do
Mahatma Ghandi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Use your skills and knowledge to spread the facts and truth surrounding HIV/AIDS. See where you feel comfortable in terms of time and resources: start an HIV support group, help the families who have fallen victim to HIV/AIDS, donate money toward research. But whatever you do, take action. Silence is the killer that spreads HIV/AIDS in our society.
Be brave, be bold and use today’s World Aids Day to turn knowledge into action and take your stand against the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus.