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World AIDS Day (and Day of Mourning)
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of December 2, 2015) As every year since 1988, December 1st (yesterday) was World AIDS Day – a day of fight against HIV/AIDS and a day of commemoration for all the victims of the disease. Even though we have highly effective medications against the virus, there are still people dying from the infection. At the same time, yesterday was also a day of commemoration for the victims of the dreadful terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.
Once this ribbon is gone, mankind will have made a great step forward.
The terrorist attacks in Paris have led to many organizations canceling or reducing their usual actions of HIV/AIDS awareness. As an example, the French group Sidaction replaced their traditional human chain by a virtual chain on Facebook.
Other subjects were in focus on this year’s December 1st: The particulate matter in China, the sextape affair of French footballer Mathieu Valbuena, green-ecological protest groups in Paris and more.
Nevertheless, the media covered HIV/AIDS extensively, and there were plenty of announcements and promises coming from all directions.
Michel Sidibé, the UNAIDS Executive Director, published this video message today (in French):
We are grateful that he points out how bad stigmatization of people with HIV/AIDS and of LGBT persons still is today.
Some good news at the end of this article:
For about 2.5 months now, a new HIV self-test kit has been available in France. Despite an estimated 150,000 seropositive people in France (of whom about 20% are unaware of their infection), only about 19,000 of those kits were sold as of today. The good news is that about one third of the buyers are getting tested for the first time – which is a good success nonetheless.