The commemoration of World AIDS Day, which will take place as always on December 1. This is an opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at all levels.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is
“Communities make the Difference”.
According to the UN,
Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. Communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.
World AIDS Day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required to address the barriers that stop communities delivering services, including restrictions on registration and an absence of social contracting modalities. The strong advocacy role played by communities is needed more than ever to ensure that AIDS remains on the political agenda, that human rights are respected and that decision-makers and implementers are held accountable.
Every year on Dec 1, I remember friends that we lost long ago and think of those that live with the disease. And hope someday for a real cure.
You can donate to the Research Foundation to Cure AIDS here.