World AIDS Day is an international event to remember those who have died of AIDS and celebrate the lives of those with HIV today.
The event has been running every December since 1988, and this year takes place on Saturday 1 December. Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity, has a number of activities planned around this year’s event.
First off, this November (23-30), Terrence Higgins Trust will launch England’s first ever National HIV Testing Week. Funded by the Department of Health, the week aims to encourage communities at an increased risk of infection – gay men and Africans – to test more regularly for the virus. A number of events are already planned across England during the week, targeting people most at risk of HIV. Further details can be found at their website.
Secondly, 26 November 2012, will mark the Terrence Higgins Trust’s 30th Anniversary. On 26th November 1982, London magazine, Capital Gay, ran a front-page article under the headline ‘US Disease Hits London’. It announced that four men, one of them Terry Higgins, had died of a mysterious new illness, which we now know as AIDS. Terrence Higgins Trust’s 30th anniversary campaign, Thanks Terry, marks three decades of the charity’s work preventing the spread of HIV, and supporting those already living with the virus.
And lastly, on World AIDS Day itself (1st December), Terrence Higgins Trust is calling on people to pledge their support for the 100,000 people in the UK who are living with HIV. Thirty years on from the beginning of the epidemic, HIV remains surrounded by a level of stigma unmatched by any other medical condition. To combat this, the charity is asking its supporters to be ‘loud and proud’ to raise awareness and funds in support of people living with HIV as part of their Stand Up Stand Out campaign.