Author: M. G.
Acting aware means being informed about what HIV/AIDS is and what it means living in a world with HIV - everybody lives with HIV, even seronegative people. Acting aware is not something that only people working in the HIV/AIDS field should do, it's an issue of self-respect and self-protection for everybody, no matter what their background is.
Act Aware is also a campaign that the UK National AIDS Trust is developing for this year's World AIDS Day. A fact sheet with five bullet points was prepared with the aim to be shared as much as possible.
1 - People living with HIV live a normal life span if diagnosed and treated in time
2 - There is no job that someone can't do specifically because they have HIV
3 - Treatment can mean that people living with HIV are no longer infectious
4 - Men and women living with HIV can become parents of a HIV-free baby
5 - People living with HIV still face stigma and discrimination
Everybody in the world should know these five facts. Why? Well, one of the main reasons is written at point number 5: if there's stigma around the issue of HIV/AIDS and people living with the virus, it's just because of the general lack of knowledge. Moreover, these five points represent the real scenario of HIV in 2013 and that's pretty far from the one that sometimes still is portrayed by the public opinion.
You can find the Act Aware fact sheet at this link: the aim is to share it - via email, Facebook, Twitter, any way you can come up with - with as many people you know. I already work for an HIV/AIDS organization, everybody I know already know what HIV/AIDS is, I already have so many conversations with my friends and my family about these issues. Who will make the difference in spreading awareness are regular people who will start talking about HIV/AIDS (again or for the first time) and who will speak about what's the reality nowadays.
The importance of World AIDS Day is not related to fundraising or condom distribution. It's all about normalization and acceptance of HIV as a part of everybody's life.