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World AIDS Day: How Women are Making a Difference

It is World AIDS Day, a day designed to remember people who have passed away from AIDS and generate discussion to help to end the epidemic. Women around the world are making a difference, today and throughout the year, to provide support for and increase awareness of AIDS. Here are just a few of the women who inspire:

Dolores Templeton

Dolores Templeton is the HIV and AIDS awareness coordinator for Prince Albert Métis Women Association. She is helping to reduce the stigma associated with AIDS by providing education to aboriginal communities in Prince Albert, Ontario. That is why the association partners with Access Place, starting today, to bring National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week.

Templeton regularly gives presentations about HIV as Prince Albert’s rates of HIV within their aboriginal communities is high. Included in these speeches are her attempts to set the record straight that HIV cannot be spread by hugging. Activities for P.A.’s National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week include HIV testing, handing out info pamphlets and an AIDS walk that ends with a warm drink and a meal.

Paula Booker

As the Ngã Taonga Sound & Vision Programme Developer, Paula Booker has helped her staff and several organizations to put together an amazing collection for World Aids Day. It is based in Auckland, New Zealand. The materials call attention to female experiences with HIV AIDS. The exhibition is titled Thirty, and it is composed of moving images that delve into the beginning years of the epidemic, shifts in public attitudes and remembrance of those who have passed away.

It is an awareness campaign, and Booker explains in a recent Scoop press release that most of the health and education projects that garnered media attention have focused on men. As AIDS affects both men and women, the Thirty exhibit is a great opportunity to bring more public focus to women’s struggles as well. The exhibit opens today in Auckland. Included in it are four short animated movies based on true stories of women who have HIV AIDS.

Lordina Mahama

She is the First Lady of Ghana. Her name is Lordina Mahama. She is also a first Vice President of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA). Mahama also is busy as an ambassador for a campaign to end mother-to-child HIV transmission. This latter campaign began two years ago, and there are now more than 1,600 sites to provide prevention services, as per Peace FM.

These sites provide counselling services to pregnant women and aim to reduce stigmas still associated with HIV AIDS. There is HIV testing done on-site, as well. Mahama also supports the country’s free screening services for cervical and breast cancer.

These are three of the countless women around the world who are working to educate and end HIV AIDS on World AIDS Day and throughout the world. Let’s keep the fight against the epidemic going as there is power in numbers! How will you do your part for World AIDS Day?

©2014 Christy Birmingham

34 thoughts on “World AIDS Day: How Women are Making a Difference”

  1. Wonderful article, Christy! Keep up your writing about women. There are so many who inspire.
    It’s hard to believe that in this year of 2014, that some still think you can get AIDS from hugging.
    My part is small. I have a friend who has been living with AIDS since the late 80’s. He is still my friend, and I enjoy our times together.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Resa,
      Your support here is wonderful, my friend! I know it’s shocking the miscommunication and ignorance about AIDS still out there… Your words encourage me and I thank you for being a friend to so many!

    1. Thanks Christy, we should all provide our support for a cause which needs empathy not discrimination…it is like any other disease not a crime, education and awareness is what can change the wrong perception.
      Yes, prevention is always better than cure…

  2. Great spotlight on two women who are committed to the fight against AIDS.
    I was particularly caught by the idea of that exhibition (Thirty) composed of moving images that delve into the beginning years of the epidemic, and tributes to those who have passed away.
    Thanks for bringing this tuff into the light, Christy.
    All the best to you, Aquileana :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi AP,
      Yes, Thirty sounds like a great exhibition, doesn’t it? I will have to see if I can find more about it online. Also there were three women here, not two (wink, wink) xo
      Thanks for taking time to comment, sweet you!

    2. Oh yes, you are right I lost one, the second one … two is company three is multitude, as the saying goes…
      Sending you all my best wishes!. Aquileana :D

    3. Christy Birmingham

      Aha, maybe you are thinking we all work so well together that we actually, with time, become one unit :) HUGS

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Michelle, yes, it still amazes me sometimes how we are so far ahead in some ways as a human race yet still so behind in other respects… Thanks for your comment!

  3. Way to go! A kind of complacency had sneaked into the society re AIDS it appears and it’s such a great feeling knowing that raising awareness is happening and especially via women. Great to know, Christy.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      YES! You summed it up so well here, Ina! I am so proud to be able to share positive messages about women :)

  4. Thank you for raising awareness, Christy! I’ve shared your post via Twitter. I want to let you know that a few years ago I reviewed a book written by my friend Nancy Draper. It’s called “A Burden of Silence” and it raises AIDS/HIV awareness by sharing her mother’s story, who had contracted the virus from a blood transfusion. It is definitely time to remove the stigma and strive for a cure!

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi G, thanks so much for sharing about your friend’s mother and what sounds to be such a powerful book. Do you think she would be interested in sharing a guest post here? Thanks for coming by to comment as it means a lot to me!

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Sorry to hear of your friend’s passing, Ines. Let’s continue to raise awareness so that this epidemic can come to an end xo

  5. Thanks so much for this post Christy, and highlighting the work of these amazing women. World Aids day, has long been on my radar, having lost many good friends to AIDS, in the 80’s & 90’s in San Francisco. But the numbers continue, and it’s important to keep up people’s awareness. Fantastic photo with the bicycle BTW. Thank you.

    1. It’s good to see A.K. here. She’s good people :) It seems like I may have heard of World Aids Day before, but only in passing. This year I’ve encountered messages many times which has raised my awareness. It’s not an issue that gets much attention in places like Idaho (though that has improved over the years).

    2. Christy Birmingham

      That’s great Jeri that you are seeing more messages about the day this year – that means support is growing!

      Hi A.K. and thanks for the support!

    3. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you, A.K. Yes, awareness and education is such a major part of the process. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and for lending support here!

    4. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you, AK. I am sorry you lost friends and just hope we can keep fighting to bring an end to the epidemic. May your friends and others rest in peace. I appreciate your comment here.

  6. Christy, i didn’t know either. I lost a close friend and took care of her while dying. This education that you’re giving here is so important. At the time it happened with my friend, the carrier didn’t know and spread it to two women. That is how bad that was (in the late 1980’s and early 1900’s). I donate when I buy groceries. I also had a cousin who died from it.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh Maria, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, cousin and countless others around the world. It is so sad and I only hope that we can continue to bring to an end the stigma and the epidemic as a whole in time. HUGS

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