ACET Jersey is using World AIDS Day on December 1st to remind islanders that HIV is an issue which affects everyone and urging them to ACT AWARE.
More than 90,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and more than a quarter are unaware of their infection. ACET says HIV is on the increase in Jersey, reporting that 9 people tested positive for HIV in the first 10 months of 2012. The charity estimates that there are currently around 100 people living with HIV in the island.
Despite the fact there are more people living with HIV in the UK than ever before, research shows that knowledge of HIV is on the decline. Here in Jersey, many people are complacent and could be inadvertently putting their health at risk.
“Despite advances in treatment, people still do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and many people living with HIV still experience stigma and discrimination.” says Malcolm Lewis, Chairman of ACET Jersey. “World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away- there is still an urgent need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
‘Acting Aware’ means finding out the facts about HIV and using this knowledge to protect yourself and others from infection.”
ACET is asking islanders to:
• Wear the red ribbon to show support for people living with HIV
• Hold a fundraising event at school, at work or in the wider community to help ACET support those in need
• Find out the facts about HIV by visiting www.acet.je
HIV champions and supporters are planning collections and events in the workplace in the week beginning 26 November. ACET supporters, including 55 students from Jersey College for Girls, will be giving out red ribbons and holding a Street Collection in St Helier on Saturday 1 December.
Meanwhile young people taking part in the Prince’s Trust programme have been fundraising for ACET with bag packs and a sponsored run; and one young ACET supporter has just completed a 3,000 mile sponsored cycle ride from Jersey to Delhi.
Event organisers are invited to contact Kim Hewlett at K.Hewlett@acet.je for supplies of red ribbons and collecting cans.