For the first time, National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will appear on our awareness calendars. The designated day is August 27 and the event, organized by RAHMA (a faith-based HIV/AIDS nonprofit) and its partners, will seek to highlight the importance of faith in the lives of many Americans, including those living with HIV/AIDS, and the power of faith communities to destigmatize the disease, raise awareness, and become more inclusive and safer spaces for those affected by the pandemic. “Together We Are Stronger!” is the rallying cry of the organizers, who hope that the day will soon achieve official recognition on the HIV.gov calendar.
The day seeks to enjoin Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, and Baha’i faith communities across the U.S. to show their support of the fight against AIDS. Organizers have enlisted thirteen Faith Ambassadors across fifteen cities hard-hit by HIV/AIDS, including New York City, Washington D.C./ Baltimore, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Baton Rouge, Memphis, Charlotte, Columbia, Jackson, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia. With the help of a steering committee of leaders, the Ambassadors will work with religious leaders in their cities and help empower and encourage the local communities to actively participate.
D.C. will host the main event, with organizers hoping to rally at Freedom Plaza, with faith leaders and activists as speakers, and offer testing and other resources throughout the day.
A social media campaign, with shareable pictures and video, will allow online users to help raise awareness, as well.