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 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.
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.
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). This organization recently changed their name to the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD). Mahama also is busy as an ambassador for a campaign to end mother-to-child HIV transmission. Adding sites to provide prevention services is important work.
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?