‘Glasgow Cares About HIV' – that's the Glaswegian theme of this year's World AIDS Day which aims to tackle prejudice and discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS.
Taking place as always on December 1, this worldwide event also aims to reduce ignorance about the virus.
So what's Glasgow doing to mark this event? NHS Greater Glasgow and its local authority and community partners are organising a range of events to raise awareness of the infection and to show support for people living with HIV and AIDS.
They've enlisted the help of Radio Clyde 1 and 2 who will be broadcasting a series of messages about HIV and AIDS in the weekend running up to December 1, as well as carrying out a vox pop on people's attitudes to the virus in Greater Glasgow.
Health staff will also be setting a stand up in the St Enoch's Centre where shoppers can obtain information leaflets, take part in a quiz or try their hand at a raffle for a signed Rangers' football; a Celtic video and pendant; cinema tickets; swim, gym and aerobic passes; and tickets to the Science Centre and the Scottish Opera. A video of range of different people living with HIV and AIDS, reflecting their experiences of living with virus, will also be shown at the stand.
Other events include:
· Glasgow World AIDS Day Service. A candlelit non-religious service to commemorate World Aids Day at St Mary's Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow, starting at 7.30pm;
· A World AIDS Day message will be displayed on the electronic screen at Buchanan Galleries in the week leading up to and on the event;
· Big Issue: a red ribbon is attached to every edition of the Big Issue in Glasgow.
Julie Craik, Health Promotion Officer from NHS Greater Glasgow said: "The number of people living with HIV or Aids in Greater Glasgow is on the increase, particularly amongst the heterosexual population. By organising these events, we're hoping to further raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and try to banish some of the stigma still attached to people living with this infection."
Recently published data from the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH) show that the number of newly reported cases of HIV infection has increased. Between January 1 and September 30, 2003 the total number of new cases was 71 – heterosexuals (42), men who have sex with men (18) and injecting drugs users (2).
NHS Greater Glasgow would like to thank the following companies for their kind donations: