Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
World AIDS Day 2008

Word on the Street

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (6)
  • Glossary Glossary


If you were in charge of World AIDS Day, what would you do to make it a more meaningful day?

View Previous "Word on the Street" Questions

  
Carrie Broadus

Carrie Broadus, Executive Director, Women Alive, Los Angeles, Calif.

I would hold nationally broadcast one-hour town hall meetings between policymakers, community stakeholders and health departments to discuss the impact of HIV and the role all of us play in combating the disease.

Larry Bryant


(3 min.)
Download Audio
Larry Bryant, Director of National Advocacy, Housing Works, Washington, D.C.

Get rid of it! [Laughs] I would get rid of World AIDS Day.

I understand the intent behind creating awareness days like World AIDS Day, Black AIDS Awareness Day, National Gay Men's Awareness Day. The reason World AIDS Day was created was that we within the HIV/AIDS community felt that there was not enough awareness throughout the general population regarding what the HIV epidemic was. But in creating these days, we've almost turned them into holidays where it's more celebratory kinds of activities that are just sealed off to those already involved in the HIV community.
Read More >>

George Burgess


(1 min.)
Download Audio
George Burgess, Treatment Educator, Absolute Care, Atlanta, Ga.

I would push the message that in order for us to get rid of this disease, we have to look at the stigma that's attached to it and the discrimination that's going on globally.
Read More >>

 


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Gwendolyn Carter, Prevention Outreach Coordinator, SisterLove, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

For World AIDS Day to be a more meaningful day, it should be a true holiday or a true calendar day. Just like for Valentine's Day everybody does something: gets a card, a piece of candy, something, on Valentine's Day, because that is the day for everyone to be loved.
Read More >>

Allan Clear

Allan Clear, Executive Director, Harm Reduction Coalition, New York City

Up to 26 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States have spent time in the correctional system. I would release all prisoners serving sentences for drug possession [on World AIDS Day] and make it a day of celebration as families are reunited. Incarceration is not accidental nor are people biologically or racially predisposed to criminal behaviors. Our prisons are full due to the prosecution of the war on drugs.

 

Natasha Davis, Ed.D., M.P.H., Clinical Instructor of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.

World AIDS Day 2008 must be a day of celebration and liberation. It must also be a day to signal to the world that a new day is here.

The country as a whole is undergoing a shift of transformational power. We must respect and honor the leaders who came before us and who are courageous enough to pass on the baton and make way for new leadership.
Read More >>

Martin Delaney


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Martin Delaney, Longtime HIV/AIDS Activist; Founding Director, Project Inform, San Francisco, Calif.

I'd certainly ask for the cooperation of the media. In general the media has really lost interest in AIDS compared to previous years. They might give a two-minute spot or something on World AIDS Day and think they've done their job. Instead, I think it would be a time to really provide some in-depth reporting on the subject, both in the United States, where people seem to think the disease is conquered and the epidemic is over, and around the world, where the devastation is really unchecked, despite all the success we've had with starting treatment.

If I would change something, it would be that I'd bring the heads of the media in and negotiate with them, if possible, to really make this an important day for them as well as for the world.

Dazón Dixon Diallo, M.P.H.


(3 min.)
Download Audio
Dazón Dixon Diallo, M.P.H., Founder and President, SisterLove, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

The way I would want to make it more meaningful would be to have annual activities that actually unite what people are doing around the world. There would be some level of simultaneous action, the same way we do with Arbor Day.

Everybody knows on Arbor Day what to do. That's to go out, plant trees, clean up the environment -- do something specific on that day. Right now, we get a theme but we don't have any particular list or a small set of activities that we could be doing globally to connect everybody and make it actually a world focus on AIDS for a day.

Right now, I think it's just the day that people observe however they do, if they do, in their own communities. It still remains fairly isolating.
Read More >>

Kenyon Farrow


(2 min.)
Download Audio
Kenyon Farrow, Public Education Director, Queers for Economic Justice, New York City

I think one of the problems with World AIDS Day is that it tends to be just an apolitical day of remembrance. That is the only day that we have some coordinated international energy around HIV/AIDS. I think that we could use it to much more kind of a political effect.
Read More >>

Ingrid Floyd


(2 min.)
Download Audio
Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director, Iris House, New York City

World AIDS Day is great in that I think it's the one day that completely brings global attention to HIV/AIDS and the fact that this is still an epidemic and that it's still ravaging communities.
Read More >>

Paula Frew, Ph.D., M.P.H.


(3 min.)
Download Audio
Paula Frew, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Ga.

As someone who has worked in the local community for years, I would advocate for a multi-pronged approach to enhance the relevance and importance of World AIDS Day.

Nationally, the public is charged by the political opportunities that lie ahead -- it would be highly beneficial to engage President-elect Barack Obama. His words and actions have moved so many, so I would ask for a public service statement (and ideally, accompanying Internet and other visual media) in which he promotes a day of free national HIV testing and counseling for all persons.
Read More >>

Bambi Gaddist, Ph.D.

Bambi Gaddist, Ph.D., Executive Director, South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, Columbia, S.C.

  • Focus on youth and the fact that we are losing the next generation.
  • Create campaign that focuses on the role of the faith community in combating HIV/AIDS stigma.

Bethsheba Johnson


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Bethsheba Johnson, Clinical Coordinator, Luck Care Center, Chicago, Ill.

When I think about what the president-elect did: He used new technologies. I thought, "Wow. What if we could use those to get the attention of our young people -- and our older people -- across America?"

Using things such as Facebook and MySpace and texting and, again, some public service announcements directed towards the youth on their T.V. stations, their radio stations. I think that developing a campaign that would target the youth using those media would be really great! I just think Obama was such a good organizer; I think some of his methods would be right on the money.

William Johnson, M.D.


(2 min.)
Download Audio
William Johnson, M.D., Medical Director, Luck Care Center; President, Southside Health Association, Chicago, Ill.

We did this in Chicago on a small scale with some of the high schools here. Walgreens pharmacy actually sponsored this promotion with the high schools. But each high school through a local magazine that goes to high school students promoted a World AIDS Day event where students were given opportunities to come up with a poster, a photograph, or a written word, some kind of art form to speak on HIV and AIDS. It was very broad. They could do whatever they wanted to.
Read More >>

Freda Jones


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Freda Jones, Absolute Care, Atlanta, Ga.

If I were in charge of World AIDS Day, I would make it a more meaningful day by advertising it worldwide. I think I would get the media more involved instead of it being just a city thing. I don't see enough advertising on T.V. I don't see enough billboards. I don't see enough people doing footwork around World AIDS Day. I just see it within the community. So I would advertise it more worldwide.

  
Mark King


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Mark King, Author and Longtime HIV/AIDS Activist, Atlanta, Ga.

I'm really stumped by this question because World AIDS Day has become meaningless in recent years.

The fact that World AIDS Day is meaningless these days is a real reflection of how the sense of urgency has left the AIDS arena. We need someone to bring a sense of urgency back to that day -- to stop it from being some sort of commercial day of just throwing dark blankets over art in art galleries and return it to a day of vital urgency. How that will be done I don't know.
Read More >>

  
 

Marilyn A. Moering, M.P.H., Executive Director, Building Bridges, Inc., Jackson, Miss.

It wouldn't be a World AIDS Day, necessarily. We need to talk about HIV/AIDS every day! People need to be reminded often about HIV in our communities. Relegating it to one day seems to make it less important.

Nyrobi Moss


(2 min.)
Download Audio
Nyrobi Moss, Sexual Health Educator and Trainer, SisterLove, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

I would target policymakers and lawmakers and people that are unaware that HIV is such a problem in communities of color and the communities that are more affected by the virus.

The one thing that I find is that the higher up you go, people start to separate and distance themselves from World AIDS Day. They say, "Oh yeah, OK, millions of people are dying with this thing." But a lot of people do not have a personal, vested interest in the things that are going on with HIV, with prevention, with people that have HIV.
Read More >>

Kenny Porter


(1 min.)
Download Audio
Kenny Porter, AIDS Housing Program Manager, Atlanta, Ga.

First, I would make it all-inclusive, which means that I would probably make it almost like the United Nations, where everyone would have a stake and involvement in it -- everyone can get some type of meaning and understanding of HIV/AIDS and the impact that it has on the community across the board, not just the person who is infected.

Loreen Willenberg


(2 min.)
Download Audio
Loreen Willenberg, Executive Director, Zephyr Foundation, Sacramento, Calif.

As I approach my 16th World AIDS Day, I can't tell you when it was actually authorized to be a day, a World AIDS Day. I thought about all the many events that I've gone to myself. Even those years when I was actually living undisclosed, those years that I wasn't able to go to an organized event, I really felt that asking every World AIDS Day event organizer in the country to distribute and recite the 1983 Denver Principles would be a fabulous thing to do.
Read More >>

Jorge Zepeda


(2 min.)
Download Audio
Jorge Zepeda, Manager of Latino Programs, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, Calif.

Grassroots actions! One of the things I learned from Obama's presidential campaign is the importance of grassroots community mobilizing. We need to change World AIDS Day into a grassroots event.

Talk to your family. Talk to your friends. Talk to your loved ones. Talk to your colleagues or coworkers or classmates: about what HIV is, how you can prevent HIV, how to care for people living with HIV. I would like to do that if I were in charge of World AIDS Day. I would promote grassroots community mobilizing so that everybody would talk to others about HIV prevention as well as care for people living with HIV.
Read More >>


 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:
Advertisement