Around ASF Blog
Volume 1 / Entry 10
April 12, 2012
When I was interviewing for my position at ASF as Director of Communications and Public Relations, I forced myself to think outside the box. I wanted to think of big ideas that might catch the attention of the Director of Development and Executive Director. They would be making the decision.
One of the things I came up with was an Orange County AIDS Awareness Month. We have World AIDS Day, sure. But I think we need something more. Breast cancer gets a whole month. Why can’t AIDS get the same treatment? So, that was my idea. Make May, the month in which our largest AIDS-related fundraiser happens (AIDS Walk Orange County), the official Orange County AIDS Awareness Month. Seems like I wasn’t the only one with this big idea.
It turns out that the National Coalition for HIV Awareness Month has been thinking on a much larger scale. To coincide with XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), which will be returning to the US for the first time in 20, convening in our nation’s capital, the Coalition is trying “paint the town red” for the month of July. They are suggesting the dubbing of July 2012 as the first annual National HIV Awareness Month to garner the same heights of awareness and fund raising that each October brings for breast cancer.
The Coalition’s website states, “The goal of National HIV Awareness Month is to re-ignite our national discourse on the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in order to create broad-scale public awareness of HIV/AIDS, end HIV stigma and discrimination and engage new stakeholders in the fight against the disease, with the ultimate goal of ending the epidemic.” My sentiments exactly for Orange County!
Although I put my idea on the back burner for a year because I needed to focus on the base elements of my new position before erecting a huge structure of new work on top of it, this idea of a National HIV Awareness Month has re-energized the notion for me. Why not have a national awareness month in July as well as a county awareness month in May and a global remembrance day in December? It’s about time we start really talking about HIV and AIDS and this is one to do it. If we are reminded of it every few months, it’ll be hard to forget and it will be less stigmatized.
Once we’re all talking about it, it’ll be easy to defeat. It’ll be the end of AIDS. That’s the goal at ASF. That was my ultimate goal for Orange County AIDS Awareness Month. And it’s the goal of the National Coalition for HIV Awareness Month.
For more information about the Coalition, visit their website.
Thanks for reading!
Director of Communications and Public Relations