The global AIDS pandemic kills millions each year; spreading awareness is absolutely crucial in helping to prevent this illness from spreading even further.
While HIV prevalence in Egypt remains low amongst the general population, the UNAIDS/WHO estimates an approximate 12,000 reported cases of HIV in Egypt, while unreported cases are on the rise and left untreated due to lack of awareness of prevention strategies and the transmission process.
On December 1st of every year, millions of individuals and organisations join together worldwide in dedication to raising global awareness of the AIDS pandemic. The World AIDS Campaign (WAC) is one such organisation. Its global campaign works on the premise of fulfilling the 2001 UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and this year Egypt will be no exception, as we join in to do our part.
For the entire month of December 2010, the WAC’s campaign will partner with the Egyptian private and public sectors to raise public awareness. Paired with heavy media coverage (including drama series and live interviews) and a large amount of public participation, the campaign has high hopes of increasing knowledge of the pandemic among Egyptians. Through various events and a one-day festival here in Cairo, everyone can participate in and contribute to this important cause.
On December 3rd, head to Gezira Youth Centre in Zamalek for a full-day festival to kick off the month-long campaign! Fun and family-friendly activities are scheduled, including kite-making, candle-making and pottery, among others. If you feel like showing off your performing skills, a booth will be on site run by the organisers of Project Yourself. Later at 6PM, Masar Egbari and Y-Crew will take the stage for an exciting concert of contemporary Arabic and hip-hop music. You can also catch a special concert by Egyptian pop singer Bushra, or you can attend an in-depth and educational speaking engagement led by the WAC ambassadors.
A photography competition will also be held; submissions are due no later than Sunday, November 28th. For more information regarding rules and regulations, check out the website here.
A university campaign will continue throughout the whole of December 2010, with a goal of raising awareness among young people about AIDS/HIV. In conjunction with the youth-led organisation IFMSA, the WAC taskforce will reach twelve universities in ten different governorates in Egypt with a three-day campaign at each university, including peer education sessions, mobile VCCT units, distribution of materials and more.
Join hands this month with the WAC as they dedicate time to spreading awareness of this pandemic in Egypt and use this opportunity to have a little fun while you’re at it: while the festival is sure to be a great day for everyone. As usual, keep checking back with Cairo 360 for the latest events happening around town.