World AIDS Day is a time for the global community to remember those we have lost to the epidemic, to recognize those who have fought for decades of progress on our behalf, and to reaffirm our commitment to those living with and at risk for HIV.
This World AIDS Day, as we attend in vigils and community gatherings, we must also recognize that this year is different than recent years as our progress is in peril.
The gains that advocates have fought for since the early days of the epidemic—fewer people seroconverting, more people knowing their status, and people living longer—are at risk. Forward motion with a National HIV/AIDS policy is stalled, the network of services for people living with HIV including health care, housing, and other support services is under attack, and funding for research and prevention is on the chopping block.
Now is the time to show up for HIV, to speak up, and to rise up.
My World AIDS Day pledge is that San Francisco AIDS Foundation will continue to provide services that are based in best practice and advocate for those living with or at-risk for HIV. I recognize that not everyone has benefited equally from progress that is now under threat, and I am committed to deepening our work in communities that are disproportionately affected by the epidemic.
I invite you to show up for HIV this World AIDS Day and every day. Here are four ways you can get involved.
Become a member of our HIV Advocacy Network. By joining the Network, you will receive information about federal and local policy issues that impact our work at moments when you can take action. Adding your voice to the cause can make a difference and our platform makes it easy for you to share your concerns with members of Congress.
Raise awareness on World AIDS Day (this Friday) by sharing on social media why you’re committed to ending the HIV epidemic. Add our frame to your profile photo on Facebook and use #ShowUp4HIV in your post so that we can show our collective power as a community.
Volunteer with us. Volunteers are virtually the backbone of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Giving your time to the cause can change your perspective and propel our work.
Make a gift to support the work of San Francisco AIDS Foundation to ensure we can continue working toward progress. Join Partners in Caring by signing up to make a monthly gift and provide sustained and predictable funding to enable the expansion of services to meet changing client needs.
Remember, if San Francisco is to become the first major city in the world to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero HIV stigma, we must show up, speak up, and rise up.
Joe Hollendoner, MSW, is chief executive officer at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Joe has more than 15 years’ experience in the field of HIV and has dedicated his career to improving direct health service delivery to marginalized populations.
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
Our diverse programs help thousands of people every year. From testing to prevention to care, our services assist communities where need is greatest.