December 1st is World AIDS Day!
World AIDS Day is a day of mourning. We mourn the 35 million lives lost to the HIV and AIDS pandemic since 1984. We mourn the staggering rates of preventable HIV and AIDS infections. We mourn that 40% of those living with HIV and AIDS do not know it. We mourn the disproportionate impact among people who are poor, people who are of African descent, people who are of Latinx descent, and people who identify as bisexual and gay.
World AIDS Day is a moment of reflection. We pause to reflect on what the world would look like without this tragic loss of life. We pause to reflect on the loss of their contributions to the humanities, arts, sciences, medicine, philanthropy, commerce, and politics. We pause to reflect on the impact that stigma and silence continues to have as thousands are infected with HIV and AIDS but go untreated while living in the shadows.
World AIDS Day is a time of action. We must act to #EndAIDS. We must act to ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS have access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention and education. We must act to build a global multi-faith coalition that uplifts the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS by countering the painful narrative that HIV and AIDS is shameful and is no longer a death sentence.
On this World AIDS Day, as Unitarian Universalists we reaffirm our belief in “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” We reaffirm our commitment to remembering the 35 million lives lost to HIV and AIDS. We reaffirm our commitment to celebrating the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS. We reaffirm our commitment to building a world of zero new HIV and AIDS infections by 2030.
May it be so!