World AIDS Day 2014



December 1st has always held a special signifigance to me. Not because it's the beginning of the holiday season, and not because it is the day before my birthday. No, it is a highly significant day to me because December 1st is World AIDS Day. AIDS is something that affected my family in the worst way possible, tearing my father down in his prime, taking him away from us at only 43 years old, leaving a wife and two children behind. If you haven't yet, you can read my personal story of my dad's loss right here.


When I was a teenager, I would get looks of disgust when I would tell people what my dad passed from. That's the moment when I chose to spread awareness and facts in order to dispel the stigma and myths surrounding AIDS. Over 1.2 million people living in the United States are living with HIV, and every one in seven of those people do not know that they are infected. Getting tested is so so important. These days, it's as quick as a swab of your cheek. That's it. I get tested every single year for my own peace of mind. It's nothing to be ashamed of. 


"We can end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but only if we close the gap between people who access HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind. If we accelerate scale-up of HIV services by 2020, we will be on track to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but we can only do this if no one is left behind."


So what can you do to help? There are so many wonderful organizations out there that are committed to ending the stigma and putting much needed medications into the hands of HIV patients all around the world. It can be as super simple as buying a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks, who participate in (RED)'s ongoing mission to abolish AIDS and save lives. Since beginning their partnership with (RED) in 2008, Starbucks has since donated a whopping $10 million dollars to the Global Fund, which helps AIDS patients living in Africa. Incredible, right?! Together, we can do this!


But, Starbucks isn't the only wonderful company out there teaming up with (RED)! The holidays are coming up anyway, right? And...today is Cyber Monday, too! What a great combination! If you plan on doing some online shopping today to snag some kickass deals, why not help others while you're doing it? 



There are so many ways to get involved, word of mouth, sharing facts and spreading awareness, heading out for an afternoon cup of joe today, or downloading an awesome game on your phone or tablet! There are so many ways to help out! The most important thing to do is to help us to end the stigma. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out to read this post, even that alone, means the world to me. 


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29 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

The AIDS epidemic really seems to have died down here in the US, but I know it's still bad in places like Africa where there is no education.

Debbie Champagne said...

I agree the AIDS epidemic is really bad. If people had more information, experience it could help a lot. I think your post was really great!!

Tricia Goodmama said...

It's great that there are so many companies helping out the cause!

Kung Phoo said...

I remember first hearing about this.. i think its great how these companies are giving back..

Tiffany said...

We have managed the disease quite well in the US, other countries can do the same with support and resources.

Megan Elford {WelcomeToTheZoo} said...

It's so great to hear about companies that are giving back (and I'm really glad to see that Starbuck's is one of them!).

Melissa Matters said...

Thanks for raising awareness about 'World AIDS Day.' Lately you hear so much more about Ebola than AIDS. Thanks for the suggestions about how to help.

darcy rittinger said...

I am so sorry to hear about your personal loss; I, too, know someone who was taken as a result of complications from AIDs, and I think the most important thing is educating people and erasing the stigma. Thanks for sharing.

Evelyn said...

Wow, your story is powerful. I'm so sorry for the negative experiences you've had, however, and for your loss. Good for you for raising awareness!

Maggie King said...

I'm sorry to hear about your father! There IS a stigma attached with aids, you would think with all the information we have it would be gone by now!

Bree Talks said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I worked at Starbucks for 3 years and was so proud of their involvement with the (RED) program. I also shared a video today, which in turn, Bank of America will donate to help (RED) get one step closer to ending AIDS. Together, we can do this.

Edna Myers said...

AIDS is still a scar on my family. The loss we had was harsh. A time I will never forget. Thank you for continuing to shine the light on this terrible disease!

ourfamilyworld said...

Such an amazing cause, AIDS is very scary and it is no easy thing to live with; I really hope a cure can be found!

jessica jenkins said...

wonderful post, look forward to seeing more

Views From the Step Stool said...

So sorry for your loss :( thank you for the inspirational post

Terri Lynn Grothe said...

aids break my heart, I am glad that more and more businesses are getting on board and helping

Laura Flaute said...

Such an important issue here!

Liz Mays said...

It's because of people like you that the stigma of AIDS has been diminished over time. Continued awareness is always needed though.

Ai LTM said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's great that your using your voice to raise awareness and remove the stigma.

Jillian Fisher said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I am glad the companies are getting involved to spread the word and U2 just took over times square and did a concert last minute to raise awareness this morning.

Rachelle J said...

First, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. But how wonderful of you to help spread awareness for this disease!

Ann B said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. AIDS is something that we need to keep bringing awareness to so it stops taking away people.

Yona Williams said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your post dedicated to your father was very moving. What scares me about the AIDS epidemic is that the younger generation, which seems to be increasingly oblivious to the consequences of their actions, has no clue of the dangers of unprotected sex. I wouldn't want to be a teen in this day and age. Also, is it just me or does it seem that STDs (including AIDS) aren't talked about as much as they used to be? I remember when I was in middle school...it was heavily spoken of and in the news - more so than now.

Kae James said...

So sorry for you loss. xoxoxo Spreading awareness is very important. Even if it falls on deaf ears, you are helping out a cause. It's good to see major companies are at work for the cause as well. Working in unity goes a long way.

Katrina Gehman said...

these are such great programs! you have posted such great information. it needs to be talked about more often. awesome job.

Nicci said...

2030 isn't that far away. I'm glad they're predicting a cure that soon. So many lives and families will be grateful. I'm, sorry you lost your father so earlier. Keep spreading the word!

Carly said...

I love that there's World AIDS Day to bring awareness to such an important cause. Even though it doesn't affect us as much here in the US, other parts of the world are dealing with it more and it's important to help them out.

Eliz Obih-Frank said...

I remember when the epidemic was at it's height and all the lives that were lost... World AIDS Day is a time for reflection.

Lucero De La Tierra said...

So sorry for your loss. I can't even fathom losing your father as a teen. Glad to see there is awareness being brought to the subject to help find a cure and dispel myths and fear.