Celebrating Action Against AIDS
People living with HIV face a wide range of challenge to their physical health. However, that is not their only worries. People living with HIV are faced with more than just the challenge to their physical health, having to deal with an ignorant and prejudiced society also poses a challenge. Usually, PLWHIV needs financial support as they face financial instability due to ill health and insurance policies are limited because of their health. Depending on the nature of their job, PWHIV could lose their source of income because of their illness.
In turn, it becomes necessary to recognise these strong individuals going through this wide range of issues. Even more, it becomes necessary for the world to remind themselves of the importance of action against AIDS.
Celebrated every December 1, the World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 as an opportunity for the world to unify against the virus that has since the discovery in 1984 claimed 35 million lives and still counting.
It is also a day to lend a hand of support to people living with other the virus and acknowledging their peculiar experience due to their medical conditions. It is to discourage stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with the virus.
In Australia, the World AIDS Day is marked with a parliamentary breakfast usually held in the parliamentary house Canberra. Here the members of parliament reaffirm support for PWHIV and the goal of putting an end to the transition of the virus. Typically, the event represents an opportunity to ensure the following:
- Update relevant stakeholders such as the Senators and Ministers on HIV/AIDS. This way, they can recognise the actions within Australia and the international community at large
- Allow members of the parliament to demonstrate and show their interest to the support of people living with HIV/AIDS and actions to reduce its transmission
- Restate the multi-partisanship that stands at the core of the response from Australia
Essentially, World AIDS Day serves as a reminder to the world: individuals, policymakers, institutions and government that they are all stakeholders in the combat against the virus. Choices of all have a long way to go in determining whether the epidemic can be successfully tackled or not.
If individuals continue to stigmatise, people will be less likely to get tested to determine their status. Thus, the risk of spreading from an ignorant carrier will continue to increase. On the part of government and policymakers as institutions, legislation that stifle liberties of persons living with the virus, policies that adversely affect their ability to manage the disease are all damaging to the goal of putting an end to the transmission of the virus.