AIDS.gov, a group that facilitates access to federal resources for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, has created a website for its Facing AIDS campaign.
You can download and print a sign from the organization's website, add your own personal message about why you're "facing AIDS," and then snap your photo. Then, upload your handiwork to a Flickr stream alongside photos of other participants.
By openly discussing and aligning yourself with the fight against AIDS, the group argues, you are helping to reduce the stigma associated with the disease. This is central to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as outlined in a mission statement:
The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.
The stigma associated with HIV remains extremely high and fear of discrimination causes some Americans to avoid learning their HIV status, disclosing their status, or accessing medical care.
With 33.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, the disease has become more than an illness. HIV/AIDS is a human rights issue, as Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization has said. So how will you commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1?