World AIDS Day 2011
World AIDS Day, on the 1st of December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic. It was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, who were two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organisation in Switzerland. The 1st of December, considered as a dead spot in the news calendar, was suggested in order to ensure coverage by the western news media which he felt would be vital to ensure the success of World Aids Day.
AIDS is one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.It is in Africa, in some of the poorest countries in the world, that the impact of HIV has been most severe. At the end of 2009, there were 9 countries in Africa where more than one tenth of the adult population aged 15-49 was infected with HIV. In three countries, all in the southern cone of the continent, at least one adult in five is living with the virus. In South Africa, 17.8% are infected. With a total of around 5.6 million infected, South Africa has more people living with HIV than any other country.
The Topsy Foundation, founded in 2000, has dedicated itself to relieving this suffering. We operate and partner with rural communities in and around the crossroads of Mpumalanga, the Free State and Gauteng – an often forgotten part of the country - and we empower people infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS through medical care, social support and skills development. We have a future vision of flourishing rural communities, where a generation of young people, who in spite of the impact of HIV and AIDS, are productive participants in society.
One of our major programmes at Topsy, the Skills Development Programme, comprises of the Shukushukuma Beadwork Project and the Tinyiko Sewing Project. These projects are focused on empowering women, helping them to generate income, and are designed to become economically self-sustainable. By buying one of our Aids themed products, you can support Topsy in the fight against HIV and AIDS this World Aids Day and help our projects become successful social enterprises. 30 years after the first cases of HIV, the red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. Order yours by email here (each design cost £2. Please state quantity, delivery name, address and contact number)