World AIDS Day - December 1
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30 years into the AIDS epidemic….
- 33.3 million people are currently living with HIV.
- Over 9 million people with HIV have no access to treatment.
- Recent evidence shows that patients with HIV are 96% less likely to pass on the infection when on anti-retroviral medications.
- Learn more about the global fight against HIV & AIDS.
Need action ideas for World AIDS Day? We've put together a kit that in conjunction with the Student Global AIDS Campaign, complete with event ideas & advocacy suggestions.
Need an easy way to contribute to the global fight against HIV/AIDS?
- Screen the movie RENT and donate admission fees to the Global Fund
- Encourage classmates to bring new and gently used stuffed animals back from Thanksgiving break - donate the toys to a local charity for children with HIV/AIDS
Projects in a Box
Christmas Carols: This year, spread a little holiday cheer at your local representative's office by blending advocacy and music! Change the lyrics of old Yuletide favorites to let them know exactly what is wrong in national and global HIV/AIDS policy.
Postcards to the President: Encourage members of the government to keep HIV/AIDS funding promises by having a postcard drive in your class.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
Harm Reduction: 10% of HIV cases globally are caused by injection drug use. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence. Harm reduction strategies meet drug users "where they're at," addressing conditions of use along with the use itself (see www.harmreduction.org). Put on an educational talk using one of these powerpoints on harm reduction or invite a related community group (like the safety net clinics or methadone programs) to come and speak on the issue.
Commemorative Art Show: Create awareness about HIV/AIDS in your school's community by hosting a well-publicized art event.
Human Sexuality Survey: Break down prejudices and foster positive discussion by hosting a human sexuality survey.
Brown Bag Lunch: Encourage individuals on campus to bring lunch on World AIDS Day and donate their lunch money to the global fund. Hold a discussion to educate students about HIV/AIDS funding issues & policy history.
Palliative Care: With AIDS no longer in the Top 15 causes of death, an increase number of people living with HIV/AIDS are falling within the chronic period window making palliative care more critical than ever before. Host a presentation to help you appreciate the importance of HIV/AIDS palliative care, its global challenges & the need for policy development on this issue.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
"We typically have lunch lectures during the week surrounding World AIDS Day. Last year we had a panel of HIV/AIDS patients who shared their stories and allowed the audience to ask questions. We also had speakers who discussed the pharmaceutical side of HIV/AIDS, the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness, and the difficulties many patients face in regard to access to care. We usually hold our AIDS benefit during this week too, however last year due to scheduling difficulties we postponed the benefit until January. We have it at a local venue called the Varsity Theatre and begin the evening with a jazz band followed by a DJ. One of our professors is in the jazz ensemble and one of our fellow medical students with DJ experience agrees to DJ. It is a formal event and medical school students and staff were invited to attend. Each year we donate the profits to an HIV/AIDS organization or charity. Last year we were able to donate $1300 to Camp Heartland, which is a camp for children and families living with HIV and AIDS. This year we are hoping to raise even more money by inviting students from the other health professional schools at the University of Minnesota."
- Julie Neborak, U of Minnesota-Twin Cities AMSA Co-President
Medical Students Rally for World AIDS Day
CHICAGO — Wearing white lab coats and red armbands, dozens of American Medical Student Association members from schools across the Midwest rallied here Nov. 30... [More]
"Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is in the process of planning a dynamic, interactive session focusing on the global impact of the pharmaceutical industry in broadening access to antiretroviral medications. In addition, the role of the patent pool will be described regarding its purpose of addressing the high cost of HIV drugs and the limitations imposed across the globe in terms of access. The majority of HIV-infected individuals worldwide do not receive the life-saving medications they need as a result of the extraordinary prices of these medicines, and over a quarter of a million children with HIV died in 2008 alone because they were not able to access medication.
The format of this session will be that of a media presentation describing the most current patent pool efforts as well as a general overview followed by a panel discussion of professionals from across the Vanderbilt community. The panelists will represent a variety of different disciplines who will approach the topic from diverse angles, including medicine, politics, law, economics, sociology, and the innumerable health disparities apparent within the HIV-infected community. The goal of the session will be to educate attendees on the burden of HIV/AIDS worldwide and the life-saving role of HIV medications. Furthermore, attendees should leave the session with a deeper appreciation of the economic and political factors that drive the pharmaceutical industry and the immense impact the patent pool entity has on dissemination of these medications to those in greatest need. Overall, we hope to inspire students to adopt this cause as one of their own and to encourage advocacy and awareness."
- Klint Peebles, AMSA AIDS Advocacy Network Steering Committee