World AIDS Day: You Can Make A Difference

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day – a day to take action towards informing yourself about how to protect yourself and others from HIV while reducing the prejudice of those infected. AIDS may seem like a problem only in the developing world, but it’s not. Over 1.1 million people in the USA have HIV. There remains a stigma around AIDS that can reduced the more we talk about it.

This year, some of your most-loved (or love-to-hate) celebs are giving up their digital life until their fans donate 1 million dollars by “buying life.” But you don’t have to be a celebrity with 5 million Twitter followers to make a difference.

As you sit in your dorm room (or lecture hall – we know you’re reading this in class!), you might be questioning what you can possibly do to make a difference – after all you are only one person. But, if everyone takes action, then collectively we can make some major strides. Even from that teeny, tiny room you call home.

Print out and put a poster on your door
I’m sure a lot of people walk by your room each day and chances are if there’s something different up on your door, they might take a second to stop and think about what the poster means, and maybe even generate a conversation with you about the topic.

Do your research
Read up on World AIDS Day. The best protection is knowledge. Spread what you know by talking to friends, or the random person who stops by your room after seeing your poster.

Test your knowledge
AVERT has lots of games and quizzes for World AIDS Day. Try one out and pass it along to your friends.

Wear a red ribbon
You can pick one up from your local MAC store. If you pick up a Viva Glam product while you are there, every cent of the selling price will go towards the MAC AIDS Fund.

Practice safe sex
If you’re going to have sex, don’t do it until you’ve had a conversation with your partner about safe sex. If you’re unsure about their sexual history, or they don’t want to talk about it, don’t do it. Once you’ve had a talk about HIV and STDs then make sure you use a always use a condom.

Get tested
If you’re having sex, go get tested. If you don’t know where to go, text your zipcode to “KNOWIT” (566948) to find a testing centre near you.

Get connected
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re connected online. Tweet about it using #WAD2010, post a statistic as your status on Facebook, or post a picture on the Facing AIDS flickr page. Use your connection to spread awareness.

Go to an event
I know this time of year is really busy, but if you have time, check out a World AIDS Day event in your area. Grab your friends and get out there. What else is there to do on a Wednesday night anyway?

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