World AIDS Day 2008
December 1 2008 marks the twentieth anniversary of World AIDS Day, an international day of action established to mobilise support on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
This year the theme is ‘Leadership’ and the ultimate goal of the campaign is to ensure that global leaders deliver on their promises regarding tackling the disease.
Since 1998 most countries have recognised the global threat posed by HIV/AIDS and as of last year the majority have established national policies on how to deal with this threat. However the fight is far from over.
In many countries, though a national policy has been agreed upon very little in the way of real action has taken place.
Stigma and discrimination still surround the disease and those affected by it. This is particularly true within the developing world where it is estimated that 90 percent of the world’s sufferers live.
In November 2007 IR held a series of consultations on Islam and HIV/AIDS. The five day event, held in Johannesburg, was a huge success and was attended by over 200 people from over 50 countries, including people living with HIV/AIDS, Islamic scholars, academics and medical practitioners specialising in the field. Participants came up with a series of religiously acceptable approaches to dealing with the disease with which to help governments and relevant organisations to increase awareness of HIV, halt the spread of the disease and care for affected individuals and communities.
In October 2008 IR became one of 13 humanitarian organisations that joined forces to create an international HIV fund. The fund will help prevent the spread of HIV by working to raise awareness and reducing the stigma associated with the disease among Muslim communities.
As well as its advocacy work IR carries out considerable practical work in the field of HIV/AIDS, supporting sufferers in countries such as Mali, Bangladesh, Somalia and South Africa.
For more information on IR’s work on HIV/AIDS click here
For information regarding IR’s policy stance on this area click here
For more information on getting involved in World AIDS Day 2008 click here