The National AIDS Trust has announced the theme for World AIDS Day 2008, being held on 1st December, as RESPECT and PROTECT.
World Aids Day aims to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS both in the UK and abroad. 40 million people worldwide are HIV positive with over 4 million new infections every year.
This years theme is inspired by the UNAIDS and World AIDS Campaign ongoing international theme, ‘Leadership’ and will highlight the responsibility everyone has to transform attitudes to HIV and encourage actions that stop its spread.
It is hoped that “Respect and Protect” will inspire individuals to consider the different roles they can play by showing respect by always treating people living with HIV fairly respecting their confidentiality and challenging prejudice wherever it occurs, Respecting themselves and their partners by always practising safer sex to protect their sexual health and Finding out the facts about HIV, spreading the ‘Respect & Protect’ message and encouraging others to do the same.
Meanwhile, the gay mens health charity, GMFA are rallying support in the battle against HIV by asking for a renewed commitment from gay men to prevent more gay men becoming infected with HIV.
Individuals can make a difference by becoming GMFA’s Bum Chum. By becoming a Bum Chums you’ll be committed to preventing the spread of HIV among gay men, take responsibility for your own sexual safety and support GMFA’s HIV education and awareness work.
“We’re asking people to feel proud and committed in supporting gay men,” said Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes for GMFA. “HIV is transmitted more easily by anal sex than vaginal sex and this is partly why gay men account for such a huge proportion of the infections that occur within the UK. The Bum Chum campaign is more than just fundraising, it’s about making a commitment to preventing the spread of HIV, and about supporting HIV information campaigns and education. We want people to stand up and say, ‘This matters to me and to my community. I’m doing something to prevent HIV in gay men’.”
While the campaign has just begun, scene celebrities, like Mr GAY UK Dino Gamecho, ex Big Brother housemates and the Left footers, have already begun to shown their support for the campaign.
To become a GMFA Bum Chum, all you have to do is visit www.gmfa.org.uk/bumchum or you can donate £3 by texting BUM to 82540.