IntraSpectrum Counseling is proud to commemorate World AIDS Day today, December 1st. World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, sharing information about peoples’ rights to protect themselves against the stigma and discrimination caused by it, and mourning those who have died of the disease. World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 and was the first-ever global health day.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, 79.3 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and 36.3 million people have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses. Globally, 37.7 million people are currently living with HIV (source: World Health Organization, 2020).
The theme for World AIDS Day 2021 is “END INEQUALITIES. END AIDS. END PANDEMICS.” The message behind this year’s theme is that although the world has made significant progress in recent decades, the pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment and ending AIDS-related deaths is slowing down, due mainly to the COVID pandemic. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) warn of increased infection rates, illness and deaths over the coming years if world leaders fail to tackle the inequalities regarding HIV.
While the response was slow in coming, our nation’s laws, rules and policies regarding HIV are reducing discrimination and breaking down some of the stigma surrounding this disease. For example, protections from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, telecommunications, & transportation services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); from housing discrimination under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA); from being excluded from Federally-funded programs under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; from being dropped from, denied, or charged more for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects the privacy and security of individuals’ medical records and other health information. Over the last decade, there have also been great achievements in “functional” cures, with better preventive efforts and more effective drugs that cause fewer side effects and lead to longer lives, and higher quality of life. Additionally, a functional cure may be in sight, according to studies published in the journal of Scientific Reports and the National Institutes of Health.
How Can You Contribute to World AIDS Day and raise awareness?
- Wear a red ribbon to support and spread awareness about HIV and AIDS
- Get tested for HIV, & practice safe sex
- Actively advocate against stigma and discrimination
- Work with a non-profit fighting HIV and supporting the ones who live with the disease
For More Info:
IntraSpectrum Counseling is Chicago’s leading psychotherapy practice dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, and we strive to provide the highest quality mental health care for multicultural, kink, polyamorous, and intersectional issues. For anyone needing affirming and validating support in their healing, please click here or email us at email@example.com.