More than 90,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Governments that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
The fight against fascism and bigotry must also incorporate the defence and support of those with HIV. The message needs to be made loud and clear, and repeated often; ANY form of discrimination, bigotry or oppression must be fought and defeated in the 21st Century!!!
Organisations across Portsmouth are coming together this Thursday 1 December for World Aids Day. Their aim is to raise awareness of AIDS, the HIV virus, and to honour and remember those who have been lost.
World AIDS Day this year is about “Getting to Zero.” Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. Backed by the United Nations the “Getting to Zero” campaign runs until 2015 and builds on last year’s successful World AIDS Day “Light for Rights” initiative encompassing a wide range of vital issues.
Although sexual orientation is no barrier to HIV, the virus is still used in some quarters as a weapon to attack the gay community.
Between 1933 and 1945, Germany's National Socialist (Nazi) government under Adolf Hitler used its monopoly of authority to attempt to rid German territory of people who did not fit it's vision of a "master Aryan race." Foremost among the so-called racial enemies, according to the Nazis' anti-semitic ideology, were the Jews. The current wave of fascist ideology rallying against "Islam" is astonishing in its resembelance to Nazi anti-semitism. Infact you could replace the word "Muslim" for "Jew" in any EDL/BNP diatribe and get a mirror image of traditional 1940's fascism.
Many other groups were targets of persecution and even murder in the 1940s under the Nazis’ ideology, including Germans with mental and physical disabilities, homosexuals, transgendered, Socialists, Communists and Trade Unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma ("Gypsies"), Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war. Millions perished in this state–sponsored tyranny.
As part of the Nazis' attempt to purify German society and propagate an "Aryan master race," they condemned homosexuals as "socially aberrant." Soon after taking office on 30 January, 1933, Hitler banned all homosexual and lesbian organisations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. Greatly weakened and driven underground, this subculture had flourished in the relative freedom of the 1920s, in the pubs and cafes of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Bremen, and other cities.
The Nazi campaign against homosexuality targeted the more than one million German men who, the state asserted, carried a "degeneracy" that threatened the "disciplined masculinity" of Germany. Denounced as "anti-social parasites" and as "enemies of the state," more than 100,000 men were arrested under a broadly interpreted law against homosexuality. Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals. Others were castrated under court order or coercion. Analyses of fragmentary records suggest that between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder.
Sources: World Aid Day Site // Portsmouth City Council // Holocaust Memorial Day UK