With all the ongoing talk about AIDS and HIV, perhaps you’re wondering how a regular citizen like you can help in such a big cause and make a substantial difference. Well, it’s actually easier and simpler than you think. Here, we listed down the things that you can do to help break the stigma.
1. Read About the Disease
If you want to help change how other’s view AIDS and HIV, you first need to be armed with the right information about the disease. Doing a quick Google search will already give you quick fact sheets and medical researches about the virus that’ll equip you with the basic knowledge to help you get by. A good start would be reviewing the fact sheets provided by the World Health Organization, or clicking through the pages of the HIV Plus magazine for more in-depth discussions about the disease.
2. Watch Documentaries About AIDS and HIV
Although AIDS and HIV aren’t really popular topics in the mainstream media, there are still some films and documentaries that you can watch about it if just take a quick break from your usual Netflix line-up. Some of the good documentaries and films you can start with are David France’s How to Survive the Plague and Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia. Who knows, these shows could inspire you to produce your own AIDS-related film or documentary.
3. Support Brands That Help With the Cause
The difference that big corporations make to increase AIDS and HIV awareness is certainly a far cry from what you can do on your own. So as you educate yourself and gain more awareness about the disease, help the companies to do more with the influence they have. For instance, MAC Cosmetics donates the money they earn from their Viva Glam lippies to their AIDS funds.
4. Wear the AIDS Awareness Symbol
The red ribbon is considered as the international symbol for AIDS, and an easy way to make it more visible is to wear it or stamp it on your profile pictures. It can be a good conversation starter and even a quick reminder to those around you.
5. Talk About HIV
The stigma surrounding sensitive topics often root from our refusal to discuss and talk about them. Topics involving sex, disease and death are some of our most-avoided conversation topics, but we can’t deny their importance in our society. So when the topic of AIDS or HIV comes up, don’t be afraid to take part and share the information you got from credible sources.
Even as an ordinary citizen, there are a lot of things that you can do to increase other people’s awareness about HIV and AIDS. Simply doing any of the aforementioned things can already help in breaking the stigma surrounding the said disease.