December 1st marks World AIDS Day, and in support of the increase of awareness and action to prevent the spread of the virus and increase the spread of hope, here are a couple notes.
An estimated 36,000,000 million people are currently living with HIV or AIDS. About 19,000,000 of these people are unaware. The first thing you can do, for yourself and for the world, is know your status. Fortunately, there are many cheap and free resources to get tested, and here is a free testing site locator: http://www.freehivtest.net/
Additionally, the highest concentration of HIV and AIDS infected people are in lower and middle income regions, where educational and public health resources are sometimes scarce. Share the knowledge.
Some people are infected with HIV through consensual sexual activity, some through sexual violence, some through medical procedures, drug use, and some children are born infected through their pregnant mothers or while breast feeding. After knowing your personal status and helping to inform populations with less resources, spreading understanding and empathy goes a really long way towards humanizing the victims and supporting those in need.
Lastly, the website The Body has a really easily navigable comprehensive list on international AIDS organizations, with various foci, where you can search by region or by language. Check it out: http://www.thebody.com/index/hotlines/internat.html