This year’s World AIDS Day campaign, December 1, is set to take a new, grand scale approach to engaging the public, thanks to a new level of cooperation between the AIDS Trust and various AIDS Councils.

With state AIDS Councils and the AIDS Trust working in tandem to produce a range of events and fundraising opportunities, World AIDS Day is set to make a nationwide impact with a televised community announcement featuring Marcia Hines which will promote the theme of AIDS is still here.
AIDS Trust chief executive Nick Toonen is confident that the new approach will help overcome public complacency.

This is the 20th World AIDS Day and so of course there is a challenge in keeping people engaged, in reminding people that they need to remain focused, that they need to give support.

We’re really focusing this year on developing and raising the national profile of World AIDS Day by working with the AIDS Councils and with some really great corporate partners who have been helping us, Toonen said before singing the praises of Foxtel who produced the television segment, worth close to $500,000, at no cost.

ACON spokesman Michael Badorrek agreed that it was an unparalleled opportunity to reach people.

We are making sure that what we are producing can be used over a number of years without dating. We realised very early on that opportunities like this don’t come around often, so we better make hay while the sun shines.

Efforts will also be made this year to engage people through multiple media, including the internet, to make it easy for people to register as a volunteer, donate money online or order a supporter pack of ribbons to be sold at work.

AIDS Trust bucket collectors will also make a return to the streets, Toonen assures.

That should have some impact on World AIDS Day. People aren’t being approached every day but on the day when everyone in the broader community thinks about and focuses on AIDS.

It is a focus which is more important than ever, Badorrek reminds us.

I think what a lot of people don’t realise is that while people are not dying from HIV anymore and they’re living happy, productive lives, there’s still a lot of challenges that even healthy people with HIV face, let alone the people who are doing it tough with HIV.

There’s still a lot of those people. Just because the proportion isn’t as high any more, doesn’t mean that there’s not people out there who are really doing it tough. People who have age-related illnesses, there’s still a lot of disadvantaged people who don’t have the same access to health care, so there’s a whole range of reasons we need to continue to raise money.

info: ACON is currently calling for volunteers. To register or to find out more information head to www.redribbonday.org.au. To donate money to the AIDS Trust head to www.aidstrust.com.au.
An image from the World AIDS Day print campaign.

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