10 Ways to celebrate World AIDS Day
There are many ways to celebrate World AIDS Day on 1 December and indeed the month of December, which is dedicated to fighting the virus and creating awareness of it. Here are 10 ways you can get involved and take a stand against the stigma and ignorance around HIV.
- Get tested for HIV. You knew we were going to say it but if not now, when? Go with a choma or your boyfriend for moral support. You can go to a Government clinic for free, your local doctor or family planning centre or even a pharmacy at Clicks or Dis-Chem. The most common kind of HIV test is a Rapid HIV Antibody. All that is needed is a finger prick of blood, placed on a test kit and the results are available in 15 minutes. Make sure you get counselling before and after the test.
- Wear a red ribbon. The Red Ribbon Project was created by the New York-based Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in 1991 and was first publicly worn by actor Jeremy Irons at the Tony Awards in 1991. It symbolises compassion for those affected by the virus. Buy one from a charity that supports the cause or make your own.
- Get informed. Ignorance and stigma are the biggest enemies in the fight to end AIDS. Make sure you understand how it is spread, what you can do to prevent getting it and how to support those living with it. The more you know, the better you are able to protect yourself and those you love. Start by reading our articles on our web or mobi site - no boring school lectures here.
- Attend an event. Whether you attend workshops or concerts, show your support by attending an event that raises awareness and perhaps money for AIDS research. Look for events in your community and make new chomas while you’re at it.
- Volunteer. There are many organisations who help those affected by HIV/AIDS including Choma! Why not volunteer to become a Choma Champion! And going beyond Choma, whether it’s orphaned children who have lost their parents to the virus, abandoned babies born with it or patients who need care, give your time to help those who need love just much as anyone – even more.
- Get your own condoms. How can we fight HIV/AIDS if we don’t take care of our own bodies? If you are sexually active, don’t be embarrassed to buy your own condoms or get free ones. Using a new condom correctly, each and every time you have sex, is the best way to fight against the disease.
- Raise funds or donate to the TAC. The Treatment Action Campaign was founded in 1998 to campaign for access to AIDS treatment. They depend on donors to keep up the good fight and many people depend on them for live saving medicines. Visit them at www.tac.org.za
- Play our Choma game. HIVSA invites you to be your own hero and boost your way to success through this interactive and intuitive free game where you will encounter life's experiences of love & relationships and inspiration. Be wary of risky behavior such as sugar daddies, drugs & alcohol, as well as contracting and infecting your partner with HIV.
- Add a red ribbon to your social media profile. Make your profile pic on Facebook and/or Twitter the AIDS ribbon for the month of December and encourage your chomas to do the same.
- Make a promise to yourself. Don’t put your future in danger by having sex with someone you don’t love or trust. Promise to respect your heart and body. Don’t sleep with anyone until you’re absolutely ready.
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