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Get involved: World AIDS Day 2009 is around the corner

23. October 2009

    World AIDS day is celebrated every year on 1 December. It is an opportunity for individuals and groups all over the world to come together to remember, and demonstrate worldwide support to, people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. It is the one day in the year where issues surrounding HIV and AIDS can take center stage.

    The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) strongly encourages faith-based communities to make the most of World AIDS Day 2009 by engaging in some form of worship, event, or advocacy focused on HIV and AIDS. 

    Background

    The global theme for 2009 and 2010 World AIDS Day is "Universal Access and Human Rights" chosen by The World AIDS Campaign, a network of civil society groups active in the response to HIV and AIDS, including the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA).

    This theme encourages us to deepen understanding, develop partnerships and challenge discriminatory laws, policies and practices that stand in the way of access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
    When human rights are not respected, people living with HIV are vulnerable to stigma and discrimination, illness, economic insecurity, and reduced access to treatment. Where rates of HIV prevalence are high and treatment is lacking, communities are devastated by the impact of the virus.

    Over the past years there have been some encouraging advances in the global response to HIV and AIDS. We have seen increased commitment around the world to respond to HIV and AIDS in national and local initiatives, in churches and religious organizations and in civil society.

    This year’s theme of "Universal Access and Human Rights" encourages us, as people of faith, to reflect and work to promote human dignity and respect and protect the human rights of people living with or affected by HIV, or those who are vulnerable to infection. At home, in schools, at workplaces or worship spaces, you can take a lead, empower others, and help promises be delivered that will mean a compassionate, active and effective response to AIDS.

    What can you do?

    Find out what is happening in your local area to commemorate World AIDS Day 2009. Encourage your church or organization to get involved, or use some of the ideas below to organize an event in your local community!

    • Plan an ecumenical service for the Sunday before World AIDS Day, or on 1 December itself. The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance has prepared a special service that can be used on the first Sunday of Advent, plus ideas and other worship resources that can be adapted for other times. The service is available in

    English at: http://www.e-alliance.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/WADLiturgy090928_EN.pdf

    French at: http://www.e-alliance.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/WADLiturgy091006_FR.pdf

    Spanish at: http://www.e-alliance.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/WADLiturgy091006_ES.pdf

    German: http://www.e-alliance.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/WADLiturgy091014_DE.pdf

    • Use the World AIDS Campaign material, being sent to all EAA HIV and AIDS contact people, to prepare posters, messages, and other promotional material. World AIDS Day materials can also be downloaded from the World AIDS Campaign website: www.worldaidscampaign.org 
    • Learn about the commitments toward universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support made by governments [link to UNGASS] and how you can join in civil society to ensure that effective targets are made and kept.
    • Raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and human rights of people living with or affected by HIV, or those who are vulnerable to infection in your area. Link up to other community events around World AIDS Day. Work with and support networks of people living with HIV and AIDS.
    • Wear a red ribbon and ask others to do the same.

    ·         Visit the EAA’s website, http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/hivaids/world-aids-day/ for more study    and action ideas.

     


    For past Action Alerts see http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/<wbr></wbr>news/action-alerts/


    The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/


The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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