HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) attacks your immune system, interfering with your body's ability to fight off the viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease. If the infection is not detected and treated, the immune system gradually weakens and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) develops – a chronic, life-threatening condition. HIV can be spread through sexual contact, through blood or from mother to child.
World AIDS Day
Every year on 1 December, World AIDS Day brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. This is an opportunity to spread awareness and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths".
However, you can support World AIDS Day all year round by acting against HIV. This means finding out the facts about HIV and using the knowledge to protect yourself and others. At worldaidsday.org you can find plenty of ideas on how to act aware.
Funding for your project
MTV's Staying Alive Foundation supports projects by young people that are fighting to beat HIV in their local communities in the most innovative ways. A new call for applications is expected for mid 2014.
The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) offers its members free month-long e‑courses on Project Management, Political Advocacy, Grant Proposal Writing & Fundraising and Preparation for the International AIDS Conference.
There is usually one course per month, with 20-25 participants selected based on their experience in HIV/AIDS, their commitment to transfer skills gained to local peers, geographic location and gender. Youth living with HIV and/or belonging to a marginalised group are prioritised during the selection process. If you are interested in one of these courses, you should check the e-course schedule for the relevant deadlines.