Today, 1 December, is World AIDS day, and you may see people wearing a red ribbon today to raise awareness and to reduce stigma. CAFOD works with individuals and communities living with and affected by HIV and AIDS throughout the world.
This year, the United Nations Programme on HIV & AIDS (UNAIDS) announced plans to take a ‘Fast-Track’ approach to AIDS preventions and treament. One of the new targets is zero discrimination, which is an issue that CAFOD tries to address in all of its HIV work. Stigma and discrimination is a major reason why, globally, half of those living with HIV do not even know their status, as the fear of stigma and discrimination prevents people from taking medication or going for an HIV test.
CAFOD’s Stigma Reduction Initiative, done in partnership with global and national networks of people living with HIV, is an example of how we are working to achiving zero discrimination. You can learn more about how CAFOD is working to reduce stigma around the world on the CAFOD website. One of CAFOD’s partners, Reverend Emmanuel Nzara, has written about how this initiave is his community in Bamburi, Kenya.
There are a number of ways in which you can help support CAFOD’s work supporing those who live with and are affected by HIV & AIDS. CAFOD’s “Make a Child Smile” World Gift helps us to provide a day of games, dancing, and music for children who have lost parents and loved ones due to HIV and AIDS.
If you would like to learn more or teach others about CAFOD’s work on HIV and AIDS, feel free to make use of the above animation and of CAFOD’s dedicated resources for youth groups.
You are also invited to join a special Mass marking World AIDS Day this evening at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street. The Mass is being organised by the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, with music by the Beacon Music Group. The Mass will be held at 18:00, and refreshments wil follow in the parish hall afterward. All are welcome.