The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is making preparations for the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day as the first of December approaches. This day is meant to be observed as the international day of action against the HIV and AIDS epidemic around the world.
The theme of ADRA's for 2006 is, "AIDS can be stopped only when we realize it's everyone's challenge," and it encourages people all over the world to realize that the disease can affects anyone, irrespective of their age, gender, or lifestyle.
World AIDS Day was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 and helps to bring increased attention to the crippling effects of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. This day is an opportunity for governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals to have a united fight against HIV and AIDS.
Statistics have shown that nearly 39 million people are living with HIV or full-blown AIDS worldwide. After its official recognition in 1981, the total death toll from the disease has been estimated to be over 25 million people.
ADRA has been actively involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS since 1985 by raising awareness as well as educating individuals and communities on how to prevent, treat, and provide care for those infected with HIV and AIDS. In addition ADRA teaches communities on how to address the stigma and prejudice that is associated with the disease as well as provide care for the children who have been orphaned by it. Better health care for those who suffer from the disease, is also promoted by the ADRA in order to help them to lead longer, more productive lives.
"Every year, World AIDS Day strengthens my personal commitment to take proactive action to prevent the disease, and to care for and support people living with HIV or AIDS," says Mike Negerie, DrPh, ADRA's regional technical manager for health in Africa.
He explains, "It is because of this same conviction that ADRA, as an organization, has taken steps to fully engage in response to HIV and AIDS around the globe, particularly in understanding the pandemic, preventing its spread, and caring for those with the disease with utmost compassion and love."
ADRA distributes an awareness kits each year in order to raise awareness and help readers learn more, care more, and do more about the disease and get involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
A wealth of resources is offered by the kit to help churches and community or school groups to get the facts and get involved in the global effort to stop AIDS. The kit includes ADRA's World AIDS Day poster and program guides, complete with sermon/presentation outlines, activity ideas, stories, facts, and a separate discussion and activity guide for youth.
ADRA's Web site (www.adra.org) also gives a selection of exclusive online resources, including feature stories and audio interviews with ADRA staff giving details about how ADRA is working around the world to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Commemorative red ribbons are also offered by ADRA for those who want to show their support of World AIDS Day, which is a symbol worldwide of AIDS awareness, worn as a sign of support for those living with HIV or AIDS.
ADRA is presently operating in 125 countries, giving community development and emergency management irrespective of political or religious associations, age, gender, or ethnicity.