World AIDS Day takes place annually on the 1st of December. It is an opportunity for people across the world to unite in the fight against HIV and challenge the common stereotypes, prejudice and stigmas associated with the condition. World AIDS Day is also a time for reflection, to show support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and over 38 million people are living with HIV globally. The virus was first identified in 1984 and since then, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that causes weakening of the immune system. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is a condition of life-threatening infections resulting from HIV-damage to the immune system.
There has been tremendous progress since HIV was first identified; an advancement in our scientific understanding of the virus, medical progression in HIV treatment, and the introduction of laws to protect people living with HIV against discrimination.
HIV is recognised as a Disability under the 2010 Equality Act from the point of diagnosis. While many people living with HIV don’t experience deterioration of their health, they are protected in UK law against discrimination in the workplace.
How can I participate on World AIDS Day?
You can participate on World AIDS day by showing solidarity, support and unity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. You can contribute on Worlds AIDS Day by organising or taking part in a fundraising event. Hosting a fundraising event in your school, college, university, workplace or community is a great way to raise awareness and funds to support those living with HIV. To learn more about fundraising opportunities, visit Worlds AIDS Day in partnership with the National AIDS Trust.
Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. Free and confidential HIV tests are available across the UK at NHS sexual health clinics, many GP surgeries, charity testing centres and certain pharmacies. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early will enable you to live a normal, full and healthy life.
How will Careers with Disabilities support World AIDS Day?
Careers with Disabilities firmly believe that anyone living with HIV can achieve a long and full life, including a successful career. We are here to support disabled individuals, including those with long-term health conditions such as HIV, find their dream career with an inclusive and diversity-positive employer.
On World AIDS Day, we hope to help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Our team are working to update our Disability Advice Hub to include resources about HIV and AIDS. This guide will provide a detailed overview of employability advice for people with HIV and their employers.