Rotherham Council observes World AIDS dayPublished Wednesday, 29th November 2017
This year on World AIDS Day the Council is joining in the national ‘Let’s end it’ campaign, to end stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV, for good.
Held on 1 December each year World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV as well as raise awareness of how to prevent and protect against the virus.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that damages the cells in the immune system and weakens the ability to fight everyday infections and disease. It is the HIV virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.*
One way to remember those lost and unite in the fight against HIV, is to wear a red ribbon; the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Councillor David Roche said: "People around the world will be pinning on their red ribbons as they commemorate World AIDS Day.
“I urge people in Rotherham to wear red ribbons with pride and as an important reminder that there is still vital work to do to stop the stigma and discrimination and to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education about HIV.
“World AIDS day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV but we also need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round and ensure everyone living with HIV is treated fairly and with respect and understanding.”
Find out your HIV status
Rotherham residents can find out their HIV status by booking a simple finger prick HIV test with Yorkshire MESMAC, with results available in 20 minutes. Booking a test is easy:
On World AIDS day, red ribbons will be available from Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham. Staff and visitors can pick ribbons up from a stall run by Rotherham-based organisation +Plusme, a Council Public Health commissioned service, who provide a wide range of year round support services, activities and training for organisations and people living with or affected by HIV in Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield.
Rotherham Town Hall visitors, on World AIDS day, can pick up a red ribbon from the special Christmas tree displayed by the Rotherham Mayor’s artists in residence: College Town Collective.
Later in the day the tree will be transferred to a fundraising event, hosted by the Collective featuring an evening of art, music and spoken word at EYUP Curators’ Collective Art Space on the corner of Doncaster Gate and Howard Street, Rotherham. The event starts at 7pm and finishes at 11pm and is supported by MESMAC, Love is Louder and Rotherham’s Mayor, Cllr Eve Rose Keenan.
Event tickets cost £2 and can be bought on the door, with all profits in aid of the Terence Higgins Trust.
Red ribbons will also be available from Rotherham Hospital reception from the MESMAC stall.
Yorkshire MESMAC provides a range of services throughout Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Rotherham, York, North Yorkshire and Hull and offers services to various communities including men who have sex with men, BME people, people misusing drugs, sex workers and LGB&T young people and adults.