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Every year, on December 1st, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. This day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. 

Why is World AIDS Day needed?

Over 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. alone. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV, and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, in 2018 over 38,000 people were diagnosed in 2018 with HIV, an increase of 7% from 2014. People do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

What can I do on World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a red ribbon through our Square Store.

Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early means you can live a full, healthy and productive life. Everyone should be tested at least once a year if they are sexually active or have any other risk factors. Please visit our testing page for more information and to schedule an appointment to see one of our testing specialist today!

As always, Spectrum will be offering free HIV testing. We will have additional staff on hand to ensure access to services are not delayed or overbooked. With the COVID-19 restrictions still in place for the safety of our staff, clients, and patients, an appointment is required. 

Get Tested Today! Call (573) 514-7312

Lastly, attend a World AIDS Day event! Every year Spectrum Health Care organizes an event for raising awareness, remembering those we have lost to this disease and celebrate those conquering the battle against HIV. We also take time to recognize the progress made in finding a cure, strides made in reduction of prejudice and stigma surrounding HIV, ongoing outreach, and increased awareness about HIV transmission and how to live a healthy life when HIV+. 

World AIDS Day Event

This year, COVID-19 is again showing us how a person’s health is linked intrinsically to so many areas in one’s life, such as socio-economic status, human rights, gender equality, social protection, and economic growth. COVID-19 has demonstrated that, during a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. This has been evident since the HIV/AIDS crisis began in the 1980’s and the same struggles continue today.  Select image to the right for flyer. 

With this in mind, and Spectrum’s dedication to ensuring the safety of our staff, clients, patients, and supporters demands that we do things differently in 2020 and go virtual! We are new to this technology, but we have embraced it fully! Meetings online have become second-nature and we are hopeful that our expertise in that area will help us with this event.

We are in the midst of final touches on our event on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. With the event title of “Virtual Spectrum Burlesque”, we are changing things up a bit! We are looking to get folks engaged a little earlier than usual with a Happy Hour event. This will be a live tutorial from a local chef and mixologist, with staff and other individuals providing facts and information about HIV testing, treatment, services, and prevention information to reduce exposure and infection. There will be raffles based on your knowledge of HIV and Spectrum Health Care!

Following happy hour, our virtual event will offer live performances by local artists of varying genres, shared testimonials and information about HIV, services, goals, and how the agency is continuing to keep HIV care, treatment and information about HIV, agency services, our goals, and how the agency is continuing to keep HIV care, treatment and education at the core of our mission. We will have raffles and drawings for those who participate! 

We are pleased to welcome back The Burney Sisters and Audra Sergel! Nic Danger completes our musical performers for the event. We are so excited and hope you are too! Check out their pages (in their name links) for what you can expect for the evening. 

What can I do after World AIDS Day?

As with any cause, ongoing shared support and awareness is key. While World AIDS Day is only once a year, you can still support people living with HIV all year long. Sign up to Spectrum Health Care’s mailing list to stay up-to-date with our agency and HIV health-related information. You can also support the agency and our clinical services year round with a donation securely through our Square Site

As we have done for the past 27 years, Spectrum Health Care will be a leader in providing care and education to ensure HIV+ persons live full and productive lives, and will continue to promote the most up to date, scientific methods to prevent new cases.  Together we can honor those we have lost the battle against HIV disease and celebrate a world without HIV.