What will you be doing on World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December every year. It is a day for raising awareness of AIDS, which is the result of HIV infection. To mark World AIDS Day this year, here is a list of things you can do in Singapore, especially since it falls on a Saturday.

1. Be aware. Do you know the difference between HIV and AIDS? How does one get AIDS? What can you do to prevent yourself from getting HIV? In this age of the Internet, there is no excuse not to arm yourself with the accurate facts and information about HIV and AIDS, and where to get help. Here are some useful links and resources.

2. Go for an anonymous HIV test. Do you know your own risk of exposure to HIV? Are you sure? Many people do not know their HIV status, and unknowingly pass on the virus to their sexual partners through unprotected sex. Click on this link for a list of anonymous HIV testing clinics in Singapore.

3. Go for a walk. Action for AIDS is organising the AIDS Walk 2012. Click on the link to find out more.

4. Have a ball! If dancing and music is more your thing, then sign up for the Rubber Ball on Sunday, 2nd December. Click on the link or Facebook event page for details.

5. Be supportive. Understand what HIV-positve people go through. Combat discrimination and show your support & understanding as a family member, friend, colleague or stranger.

6. Sign up as a volunteer. There are non-profit organisations that are always looking for people who would like to contribute their time, skills & expertise, all for a good cause, in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention and support. Action for AIDS, Oogachaga & TTSH – Patient Care Centre are fine examples.

7. Make a donation. If you prefer to show your support by making a monetary contribution, you can also get in touch directly with the staff at Action for AIDS, Oogachaga & TTSH – Patient Care Centre who would be more than happy to follow-up with you!

8. Wear a red ribbon. If you can’t find one at the above venues, you can just make one yourself! And tell others about the Red Ribbon and what it stands for. Or you can even add a red ribbon to your Facebook profile picture here.

Here’s wishing you make a difference, however big or small, this

World AIDS Day!

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AIDS Candlelight Memorial

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is one of the oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness in the world. Started in 1983, it takes place every 3rd Sunday in May and is led by a coalition of more than 1,000 community organizations in over 100 countries. This year, it will be marked on Sunday, 20 May 2012.

Globally, the United Nations estimates that more than 30 million people are presently living with HIV/AIDS, with more than 20 million deaths. In Singapore, according to the Ministry of Health, over 5,000 people are reported to be HIV-positive, and more than 1,300 have died of AIDS-related causes.

The Memorial started as a way of honouring the memory of those lost to the disease, while offering support for those living with HIV/ AIDS. Additionally, it now serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV/ AIDS, as well as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.

In Singapore, the AIDS Candlelight Memoral will be organised by Action for AIDS on 17 May 2012, Sunday, 7pm at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Theatrette. The event will be observed simultaneously in over 300 cities around the world to honour the lives and memory of those who have died of HIV/AIDS, and makes a clear yet profound statement that HIV/AIDS is present in Singapore, and there are people affected and infected with it.

It also increases the visibility of the fight against the disease, and serves as a reminder that our fight against the disease is ongoing. It lends support to the families and friends of those who have died of AIDS-related causes, and assures them that they are not alone.

If you’re worried that you or someone you know may be infected with or affected by HIV/ AIDS, find out more through the following links.

In Singapore:

Internationally:

To have a better understanding of what it’s like to be HIV-positive, you can read the story “My hopes and dreams” by Lester, a young gay man who is HIV-positive.

Hard to talk about issues

The personal, real-life stories in the book I Will Survive have raised issues that many of us may either have some experience with, or encountered in our friends or family members.

If you’d like some additional support or information, here are some local services based in Singapore (highlighted in red), as well as international resources, organised alphabetically by issue.

For a more extensive list of Singapore-based resources, please refer to the Resources tab. Please contact the Editor to let us know if you have any amendments to the listings, or suggestions for inclusion.

ADDICTIONS

National Addictions Management Service (NAMS)

We Care Community Services

BBC Health – Sex addiction

BISEXUALITY

The Bisexual Index

I think I might be bisexual, now what do I do?

What is bisexuality? (Psychology Today, 11 July 2010)

BULLYING

Bully-free Campaign

More students call for help against bullies (Channel News Asia, 8 May 2007)

1 in 4 secondary school students bullied (Sunday Times, 16 July 2006)

Schools take serious view against bullying (Ministry of Education, 21 October 2005)

Befrienders Worldwide – About bullying

COMING OUT

What if I’m gay? A coming out guide

Coming Out, Coming Home (Psychology Today, 23 July, 2010)

Support in coming out helps LGB well-being (Health.com, 20 June 2010)

National Coming Out Day

HIV/ AIDS/ STIs

Action for AIDS, Singapore

LiveLife

DSC Clinic

BBC News – The HIV/ AIDS Debate

NAM AIDSmap – Sharing knowledge, changing lives

The Body – The complete HIV/ AIDS resource

MARRIED & GAY

Married Gay

Married Male – Resource centre for the bi-married male

Gay Husbands, Straight Wives

Millions of women married to gay men in China (Fridae, 3 Feb 2012)

MENTAL ILLNESS

Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)

Institute of Mental Health (IMH)

Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Health Promotion Board (HPB)

BBC Mental Health

Befrienders Worldwide – About depression

PARENTS OF LGBT CHILDREN

SAFE Singapore (Supporting, Affirming, & Empowering our LGBTQ friends & family)

My Child is Gay (book by Bryce McDougall, 2007)

What to do when your child says “I’m gay!” (Psychology Today, 18 April, 2011)

PARTNER VIOLENCE

Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVe)

Another Closet (Australia)

RELIGION

As Salam – online group for queer Muslims

Free Community Church (FCC) – a diverse Christian congregation

Heartland – gay Buddhist fellowship

What does the Bible actually say about being gay? (BBC News, 23 October 2003)

To be gay & Muslim (AlterNet, 9 April, 2002)

Gay Muslims (Channel 4 documentary, 2006)

SUICIDE, SELF-HARM & SUICIDE GRIEF

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

Befrienders Worldwide – About self-harm

Youth Suicide – Gay/ bisexual men

TRANSGENDER ISSUES

Sg Butterfly – Singapore’s 1st transgender community portal

Transsexuality

WOMEN

Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE)

RedQueen! – for queer women in Singapore

Sayoni – to empower Asian queer women

Women’s Nite – a safe space in Singapore lesbian & bisexual women to gather & discuss

Women who love women (documentary, 2006)

Disclaimer The information provided here is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as (or be a substitute for) medical, personal or professional advice, or services. Any medical or other significant life decisions should be made in conjunction with a qualified professional, a list of which can be found under “Professional Resources”. The editor and any other companies or persons associated with the production of this website assume no responsibility for any omissions or errors contained herein and will not be liable for any complications, injuries or other accidents arising from or in connection with, the use of or reliance upon any information in this website.