World AIDS Day & AIDS Awareness Week
Photo credit- Legislature- Forest Ferns Photography- @forest_ferns_photography
Across Canada, the week leading up to December 1 marks Canadian AIDS Awareness Week. It's an occasion to raise awareness surrounding HIV and AIDS issues nationally and culminates in the international observance of World AIDS Day on December 1. World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus as well as a demonstration of international solidarity.
The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed to such a day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic and nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS. According to the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2015, 1.1 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2015. Over 35 million people have died of AIDS related illness since the start of the epidemic. In 2015, there are an estimated 37 million people around the world were living with HIV. On a National scale, an estimated 71,500 Canadians are living with HIV.
2017 was a big year for World AIDS Day in Edmonton with activities and events happening all over the city thanks to community partners, volunteers and businesses- We had the most awareness we've seen in a long time! With HIV Edmonton hosting it's first Red Ribbon Ride with Revolution Cycle, a video presenation at the University of Alberta and partnering with Artists for Life, ISCWR and Evolution for the Red Light Cabaret- In addition, Artists for Life again hosted a thoughtful AIDS vigil at the Legislature as well as a Day Without Art with the Art Gallery. YEG Cycle hosted a fundraiser at their 124th location and both locations were lit in Red for the day! We can't do it alone and this year showed community coming together to prove that Edmonton still sees RED.
We are so excited to announce that our initiative, "Light up Edmonton RED" launched last year was an even bigger success adding more buildings and businesses in awareness! Thank you to all who turned RED in honour of World AIDS Day- Alberta Legislature Building, University of Alberta HUB Mall, ATB, Fairmont MacDonald, EPCOR, High Level Bridge (City of Edmonton), Edmonton House, Chateau Lacombe, Art Gallery of Alberta, ProCura Building (Central Social Hall Building) and YEG Cycle who turned their studio RED for their sessions and donated proceeds from their karma class!
HIV Edmonton encourages Edmontonians and all Canadians to become engaged in activities that will increase awareness on HIV and AIDS issues here at home and around the world. There is no “them”, there is only “us” and we can get to Zero!