Alchemical Thoughts

Facing World AIDS Day 2009

Posted on: December 1, 2009

I do this because someone has to help fight ignorance and educate others. I do it because I am a librarian, and as such it is my mission to provide accurate, reliable information to my patrons and readers. I do it because it is the right thing to do. I did not realize it, but the last time I did this was back in 2005. Time flies, and a lot has changed since then. I am glad that, in spite of my busy days, I am able to take some time to blog about this. This December 1 marks the 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day. Did you know that a total of 33 million people now live with HIV/AIDS, and more than one million of them live in the U.S. ? Here is another fact:

Every 9½ minutes someone in the US is infected with HIV. I got the facts. Act Against AIDS: NineAndaHalfMinutes.org

The badge above comes for the Nine And a Half Minutes website, created by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). I found that and other links with a little bit of searching and digging. This is not an exhaustive list. It is meant to give folks a place to start in terms of gathering information and getting educated. It is also meant to provide a small sample of what is available out there. As always, if you have questions, you can visit your local reference librarian. My professional friends and I will be happy to help out.

You can start learning more by visiting the U.S. Government's site: AIDS.GOV:

AIDS.gov: Access to U.S. Government HIV / AIDS information
Visit AIDS.gov: Access to U.S. Government HIV/AIDS information.

This site is an information portal with a lot of information and resources from how to find a testing site to educational materials. From the site, "provides access to Federal HIV/AIDS information through a variety of new media channels, and supports the use of new media tools by Federal and community partners to improve domestic HIV programs serving minority and other communities most at-risk for, or living with, HIV." They also have a blog, which you might consider looking over and adding to your feed reader here.

Medline Plus has a topic page on AIDS that may be of interest. It includes interactive tutorials, news, medical information, and even materials for our Spanish-speaking friends.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has an AIDS/HIV Awareness page here. It includes a nice overview of the history of World AIDS Day here, with facts and resources. For example, did you know that "the World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988."

If you have a spiritual bent, the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church has a page of "Worship Resources for World AIDS Day." It is a small collection of poems, prayers, and inspirational stories. They also have a resource page. I am putting this as an example that there are some religious groups who actually care.

Here you can find UNAIDS (The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS). You can find links to various publications, art, blogs, and resources. You can find statements about World AIDS Day from various UN officials here. Some are videos, others are text.

And here is the site of the World AIDS Campaign.

Over here is the British National AIDS Trust's site for World AIDS Day.

Over here is the site for the Light For Rights Campaign. From the site, "Light For Rights events are happening in cities and towns all over the world and will bring thousands of people together on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2009, to honor those we have lost to AIDS and to highlight the fundamental rights we all share. "

If you want to learn more about the legal angle and rights, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has a World AIDS Day page discussing their advocacy work to prevent discrimination against those with HIV and AIDS as well as other resources.

And I just found this website for the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. The NLAAD actually takes place on October 15th (I did not know this. Just learned it now). However, I am adding it to this list because it provides much needed information and perspective for the Latino community. You can find a variety of resources here as well. The video they feature on the front page is worth watching.

In the state, I could not find as much. The press release that UT San Antonio is hosting some events came up. You can read about it here. "Activities will include a poetry slam, free HIV testing, awareness expo, candlelight vigil, music and a photo booth where students will get the chance to personalize a statement on how they will "face" HIV/AIDS." This should be the type of thing that more campuses here in Texas, and in the United States should be doing (and yes, I am looking at my own campus, which shines by its absence).

However, you can get some additional information on AIDS/HIV via the Texas Department of State Health Services. This was not as easy to find, so I am happy to dig it out for any locals out there.

And after some very deep digging, I managed to find the site for Tyler AIDS Services. This "is a full-service HIV/AIDS facility serving Tyler/Longview and many of the 32 North East Texas communities. " I am glad to see there is a local resource. I always try to include local things on posts like these when I find them.

(Crossposted to The Itinerant Librarian and from The Gypsy Librarian).

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