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Karumah / Advocacy  / Karumah World AIDS Day: “End Inequalities. End AIDS.”

Karumah World AIDS Day: “End Inequalities. End AIDS.”

December 1st marks #WorldAIDSDay when people worldwide unite to show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. This year marks 40 years since the first reported cases of AIDS in 1981. Seven years later, in 1988, the first World AIDS Day was observed.

The Karumah Community know first-hand what remarkable progress has been made since then, but we also know the extraordinary costs. So many lives cut too short – lost lovers, partners, family, and friends; and in turn the ongoing challenges, stigma, and grief of survival.

The landscape of HIV in NSW today has metamorphosised. U=U, PrEP and greater access to testing have significantly reduced HIV notifications, and people living with HIV are living long and fulfilling lives.
And yet stigma, misinformation, and discrimination still impact the daily lives of people living with HIV and prevent people who most need help from accessing it. Mention HIV on the street, and most people will still bring up the Grim Reaper. To the average person, our cultural awareness of HIV has not moved past a death sentence, and it affects our community every single day.

The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “End Inequalities. End AIDS.”. This means making sure the most vulnerable in our society have equal access to HIV information, care and support. It means challenging and fighting the stigma that keeps people living with HIV isolated, ashamed, and susceptible to poor mental health outcomes. It means not forgetting that the HIV epidemic is ongoing and that our communities still matter. Finally, it means taking every opportunity to share our knowledge of U=U and reeducate Australians about what living with HIV means 40 years on.

Karumah is and always has been here for people living with HIV, through good times and bad, and World AIDS Day gives us the chance to pause and reflect. Wearing red and buying a ribbon are great (and encouraged!), but true allies help with the hard work to lessen the load. As a community, we challenge you to step up and educate yourself – and then someone you know – on HIV today: https://karumah.org.au/hiv-facts

At 6 pm tonight, the Karumah Community will come together for our Twilight Memorial to remember all those we have lost and all we have lived through. We would LOVE to share the specific details here, but HIV stigma makes it too risky for the confidentiality of our members. That very fact shows that we are not done fighting for people living with HIV in 2021.

The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “End Inequalities. End AIDS.”. This means making sure the most vulnerable in our society have equal access to HIV information, care and support. It means challenging and fighting the stigma that keeps people living with HIV isolated, ashamed, and susceptible to poor mental health outcomes. It means not forgetting that the HIV epidemic is ongoing and that our communities still matter. Finally, it means taking every opportunity to share our knowledge of U=U and reeducate Australians about what living with HIV means 40 years on.