World AIDS Day Pushes Care as Human Right

This year's World AIDS Day message rings loud and clear: The prevention and treatment of HIV is a human right.

On Dec. 1, the World AIDS Campaign and a host of other organizations invite people from all walks of life to join them in pushing HIV care as a human right.

"Our message is that access for all to prevention, treatment, care and support is a fundamental human right that is impossible to decouple from the discussion of how we tackle HIV and AIDS now and in the future," the World AIDS Campaign, a coalition of civil society groups, said in a statement.

Avert, an international AIDS charity, notes significant progress on treatment over the years, but cautions that greater commitment from world leaders and other international donors is needed to realize the goal of universal access.

The World AIDS Campaign is pushing its human rights message using data and case studies of people living with the disease. The coalition acknowledged that difficult work lies ahead since most people view human rights as abstract ideas.

The World AIDS Campaign hopes to address this issue through its "I Am" campaign, which involves the use of key slogans with concise and informative text that illustrate how human rights and universal access to HIV care are related.

This World AIDS Campaign initiative is only one of the many to be held globally on Tuesday. Education International, for instance, will sponsor One Hour on AIDS, a program that aims to to train teachers and help their realize the importance of their role in preventing and caring for HIV/AIDS within the school campus.

Meanwhile, a U.S. initiative dubbed AIDS.gov is offering another kind of activity called "Facing AIDS," which uses social media sites like Facebook and Flickr to encourage participation in the worldwide debate on HIV.

Another noteworthy event will be held in South Africa, the 5th Annual World Aids Day Gala Concert, sponsored by the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management at Stellenbosch University. Some Hollywood performers are expected to perform alongside local song and dance groups. More events and information on World AIDS Day may be found on the World AIDS Campaign events page.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.