How You Can Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013

How You Can Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013

{Photo by Warren Zelman}Photo by Warren Zelman

Advancing a health systems strengthening approach to HIV & AIDS requires advocacy and education, especially of decision makers. In honor of World AIDS Day 2013 (December 1, observed in some places December 2) we invite you to commemorate the day wherever you are, and help our global family achieve an AIDS-free generation.

Read "Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation"

[World AIDS Day: Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation.] {Photo by Warren Zelman}World AIDS Day: Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation.Photo by Warren Zelman

Scott Kellerman, MSH's Global Technical Lead on HIV & AIDS blogs:

I remember attending the Durban International AIDS Conference in 2000, my first. That was the one where everything was going to turn around and we were going get a handle on the epidemic. Nelson Mandela spoke in a hall that was the size of three football fields. And the crowd was joyous, raucous, the noise was deafening. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

Before Mandela took the stage and between the many speakers and many welcomes, usual of course in Africa, a choir made up of kids, no more than 9 or 10 years of age and many much younger, took the stage to sing tribute to the great man and those of us gathering there.

It was charming and sweet. Everyone had a huge grin on their faces. And then I realized that this group of kids were special, maybe overheard someone nearby or perhaps the MC say that this, "was THAT group." All were infected with the virus. And as I watched these gorgeous children singing so strong, moving and smiling and clapping with everyone, I knew, knew inside, that they probably wouldn't live much longer.

We are indeed a far cry from where we were then.

And yet with all of our incredible advances, we see essential challenges in starker relief. What we're discovering is just how hampered we remain in delivering care to those who need it most.  

It's not that we don't know how to deliver life-saving care to adults and children, but the problem is that the health systems in many places still struggle to offer basic services. Our focus moving forward must be on strengthening health systems to decentralize to the most local unit, integrate with other key clinical services, and ensure that programs are sustained. ...

Read more from Scott Kellerman

Attend a World AIDS Day event near you.

MSH and partners are hosting several events in honor of World AIDS Day, including in Washington, DC, on December 2,  Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation: Overcoming Remaining Challenges, and in Cape Town, South Africa on December 9: Targeting Zero Together: What Will it Take? during the upcoming 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA).  

Find and attend MSH events

Watch Inside Story.

[] On December 1, Inside Story, a full-length feature film about an HIV-infected soccer player in South Africa, will be available for watching online. Several national networks will be broadcasting Inside Story on television on December 1, too:

  • Nigeria (English) on Silverbird Broadcast;
  • Ghana (English) on GTV;
  • Madagascar (French) on RTA;
  • Rwanda (French/English) on Radio 10 TV10;
  • Zambia (English) on Muvi TV;
  • Botswana (English) on BTV;
  • Kenya (English) on KTN;
  • Cote d’Ivoire (French) on Radio Television International (RTI);
  • Congo Brazzaville (French) on MN CON Network; and
  • England/Ireland (English) on ABN.

Check your local listings for details. (US-based viewers can purchase a digital copy online.)

Select MSH offices, coordinated by the BLC project, will be assisting with distribution of Inside Story. For more information about MSH's role in the film, and in distribution, click here.

View and share Inside Story

Learn more about pediatric HIV.

Kellerman, MSH's Global Technical Lead for HIV and AIDS, co-edited a 12-paper special supplement on pediatric HIV & AIDS for the journal AIDS, with co-editors Dr. Nandita Sugandhi from CHAI and Dr. Rami Yogev from Northwestern University Department of Pediatrics. The series was initiated last year because of concerns that key issues in pediatric HIV and AIDS were being overlooked. MSH co-authors included Theresa Feely-Summerl, Helena Walkowiak, Jon Jay, David Mabirizi and Erik Schouten. 

Read supplement for free 

And don't forget to read, share, and comment on Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation, MSH's World AIDS Day post by Scott Kellerman on a future for HIV-positive children, strengthening health systems at all levels for all ages, and advocacy in DC and abroad.

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