Post submitted by Noël Gordon, former HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity.

This weekend marked the 26th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have lost their lives in the epidemic. HRC members and supporters demonstrated their commitment to an AIDS-free generation in ways big and small.

Late last week, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation urging all Americans to continue in their “resolve to carry on the fight and end stigma and discrimination toward people living with [HIV].” HRC Senior Public Policy Advocate Andrea Levario was at the White House today, when President Obama announced that the federal government will be redirecting $100 million to new AIDS Research. The president’s announcement comes a week after signing the HOPE Act, a bill championed by HRC and other advocacy groups.

In a nod to the global community, HRC Global Engagement Fellow Jane WothayaThirikwa offered her thoughts on what steps are needed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa:

On this anniversary of World AIDS Day, it is important for us to remember that we all share a common humanity. If we are not careful, the indifference and inaction of those who should, and can act, will overshadow any progress we might hope to make. It is important for us to change the narrative concerning HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, HRC Director for Faith Partnership and Mobilization, turned inward, reflecting on what it means to be HIV positive at this particular moment in history:

If, like me, you’re living with HIV on this World AIDS Day and have access to care, we have power like never before.  We can choose our own destiny by taking our medicines on time, living long and healthy lives.  And we can affect someone else’s destiny, by continuing to protect our partners and speaking out about the need for more education and access.

HRC members and supporters also participated in World AIDS Day events across the country. From gospel concerts in Los Angeles to candlelight vigils in Atlanta, thousands of fair-minded Americans gathered together in collective solidarity. Here in Washington, D.C. HRC partnered with several other community organizations to honor the history of HIV/AIDS in the nation’s capital.

World AIDS Day Vigil

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