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World AIDS Day 2012

Around the world on December first World AIDS Day is held, events organised and loved ones remembered.  In terms of annual health days this one must rank as one of the most well recognised and credit for that has to go to the advocates who work tirelessly to make sure that we never forget those who have gone before us.  We are not only taking one day out of our lives to look back but also to look forward, amazing strides have been taken in the care of people living with both HIV and AIDS and Dec 1st is a time to celebrate.

However, the statistics are still very sobering, especially in the developing world.  According to those published by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF in 2011, referring to 2010,  34 million people in the world are living with the disease with 1.8 million losing their battle.

In Ireland we have multiple organisations who will be highlighting their work on December first, they include

The Dublin AIDS Alliance
Gay Men’s Health Service
Open Heart House
Red Ribbon Project
Stamp Out Stigma

A press release from the Red Ribbon Project in Limerick reads:

The Red Ribbon Project is launching a new confidential service to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1 December.  Rapid HIV Testing has been common in other European Countries for a few years now but it has only recently been introduced in Dublin by Dr Shay Keating and the Gay Men’s Health Project

Ann Mason, Manager of the Red Ribbon Project tells us

People who may be worried about their HIV status can now find out quickly – results are available in 20 – 30 minutes… I think this is a service that will help to reassure people about their HIV status and it will give us an opportunity to discuss safer sex practices whilst we are waiting for the results

You can contact the Project at info@redribbonproject.com.  They also invite you to their annual open and inclusive service for World AIDS Day on Saturday 1 December, 8pm, in St Mary’s Cathedral with the Reverend Jane Galbraith.

If you are in the UK, avert are organising the world’s largest AIDS Awareness Ribbon at Anfield Stadium during the Liverpool versus Southampton game.  The 49m long red ribbon will stand proud as a symbol and raise awareness, so remember to show your support.

We can all show support by wearing a red ribbon on the day and by donating to any one of the worthy groups in our area.

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