World AIDS Day & AIDS Awareness Week
Across Canada, the week leading up to December 1 marks Canadian AIDS Awareness Week. It's an occasion to raise awareness surrounding HIV and AIDS issues nationally and culminates in the international observance of World AIDS Day on December 1. World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus as well as a demonstration of international solidarity.
The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed to such a day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic and nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS. According to the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2015, 1.1 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2015. Over 35 million people have died of AIDS related illness since the start of the epidemic. In 2015, there are an estimated 37 million people around the world were living with HIV. On a National scale, an estimated 71,500 Canadians are living with HIV.
The theme of World AIDS Day 2016 was Hands Up for HIV Prevention bringing much needed awareness and understanding to the work being done and needs to continue, for us to get to Zero HIV. Prevention messages such as; zero violence against women, access to health, end stigma, end homelessness, PrEP- this campaign is addressing the full spectrum of the drivers of the epidemic and we'd like to thank all who joined in raising their Hands Up for HIV Prevention!
We are so excited to announce that our newest initiative, "Light up Edmonton RED" was a huge success. We were joined in this endevour by our amazing partners who had their facilities RED in honour of World AIDS Day- University of Alberta HUB Mall, ATB, Fairmont MacDonald, EPCOR, High Level Bridge (City of Edmonton), Edmonton House, Art Gallery of Alberta and Lions Breath yoga who turned their studio RED for their sessions.
HIV Edmonton encourages Edmontonians and all Canadians to become engaged in activities that will increase awareness on HIV and AIDS issues here at home and around the world. There is no “them”, there is only “us” and we can get to Zero!