According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.2 million Americans are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
An estimated 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year. This devastating disease attacks the immune system and affects all parts of the body, eventually leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), it’s most deadly and advanced stage, for which there is currently no cure. Yet there is hope for the many Americans living with HIV infection or AIDS. Researchers are developing new and more effective drug combinations, and scientists are growing ever closer to a vaccine. Improvements in medication and earlier diagnosis mean that those infected with HIV are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Still, many Americans are unaware of even the basic facts about HIV—how it is transmitted, how HIV progresses to AIDS, and how HIV and AIDS are treated.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
The fight is not just about the virus. For people living with HIV, ignorance and discrimination can still limit opportunities, preventing them from living full and happy lives. HIV means you are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have poor mental health.
In an effort to end stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV, for good please download and share Chapter 36 of AIDS Sourcebook, Sixth Edition, which offers advice on coping with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.
Download “Coping with an HIV/AIDS Diagnosis” from AIDS Sourcebook, Sixth Edition here.
For additional resources and information on World AIDS Day please visit www.worldaidsday.org.
Confucius’s Birthday (Teacher’s Day)
A time to commemorate the birth of the teacher Confucius, perhaps the most influential man in China’s history. In Qufu, Shandong Province, China, the birthplace of Confucius, there is a two-week-long Confucian Culture Festival. In Hong Kong, observances are held by the Confucian Society at the Confucius Temple at Causeway Bay near this date. Confucius, the Latinized version of the name K’ung-fu-tzu, was born in 551 B.C.E. during the Warring States Period and developed a system of ethics and politics that stressed five virtues: charity, justice, propriety, wisdom, and loyalty. His teachings were recorded by his followers in the Analects and formed the code of ethics called Confucianism that is still the cornerstone of Chinese thought. It taught filial obedience, respect, and selflessness; the Confucian “golden rule” is “Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you.” Confucius died at the age of 73 in 479 B.C.E.
During the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism lost favor, and in the late 1960s Red Guards defaced many of the buildings in Qufu. They have since been restored, and the festival held there from late September into October attracts scholars from China and abroad. The festival opens with a ceremony accompanied by ancient music and dance and includes exhibitions and lectures on the life and teachings of Confucius and on Chinese customs.
Commemorations in Taiwan take the form of dawn services at the Confucian temples. The Confucius Temple in Tainan was built in 1665 by Gen. Chen Yunghua of the Ming Dynasty and is the oldest Confucian temple in Taiwan.
CONTACTS Taiwan Government Information Office 4201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 United States 202-895-1850; fax: 202-362-6144 www.taiwanembassy.org
To learn more about holidays, festivals, commemorations, holy days, feasts and fasts, and other observances from all parts of the world check out the latest edition of Holidays Around the World 2018.