How to Plan World AIDS Day Activities: Community-Based Organization Tips

How to Plan Activities
Selected Resources for World AIDS Day
Hotline References

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How to Plan World AIDS Day Activities -- Community-Based Organizations

World AIDS Day is not merely a one-day event, but rather serves as a “kick-off” for the forthcoming year to enable individuals, communities, organizations and businesses to become involved in the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and for the promotion of new or existing HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, testing and care programs. It is also a time to reflect, memorialize and show compassion for those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

The World AIDS Campaign's Global Steering Committee selects a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with several agencies involved in the AIDS response. The theme until 2015 will be, “Getting to Zero.” Specific localities are encouraged to develop their own relevant activities and messages to help build HIV/AIDS awareness for their local areas in November or December. To help observe World AIDS Day, please refer to the following suggested activities:

Planning something for World AIDS Day?
Contact the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) once events are set-up so they can be listed on the MDH web site's Statewide World AIDS Day Calendar. Please submit the "Planning Something for World AIDS Day" (PDF: 11KB/1 page) form to Roy Nelson at MDH by calling (651) 201-5414, Fax: (651) 201-4000 or e-mail:

  • Contact individuals and organizations in your community interested in planning World AIDS Day activities and host a planning meeting. Places such as local hospitals, clinics, social service agencies, AIDS advocacy groups, or schools are good starting points
  • Determine if a single collective event or a series of independent events would be best to raise awareness through speakers, exhibitors and performers at forums, health fairs, rallies, vigils, community events, parades, block parties, faith services, etc.
  • Host planning meetings; obtain resources, partnerships and funds to support chosen activity
  • Submit a proclamation to your agency board stating that your organization recognizes World AIDS Day
  • Wear/distribute to others a red ribbon as a symbol of hope to work sites, schools and community groups. Distribute electronic ribbon to social media outlets
  • Contact schools, businesses, clergy, health care organizations and local agencies and encourage their scheduling of prevention seminars or DVD showings for their clients/staff on behalf of World AIDS Day
  • Hold a candlelight vigil at a public park or at your agency with singers, rappers, musicians, poets, dancers, performers and story tellers
  • Decorate a World AIDS Day tree, memorial wall, bulletin board, etc., in memory of those who have died of AIDS in your agency lobby or public setting
  • Distribute World AIDS Day information:
    • place World AIDS Day information and links onto your agency’s web site
    • encourage your agency to display posters, flyers, or brochures in your lobby and in your lunch rooms
    • send announcements about events, activities and resources using your agency’s e-mail address books, mailings, newsletters and electronic bulletins
  • Write a letter or editorial to your local newspaper and other publications demonstrating support or listing your events for World AIDS Day. In addition, take photos of your events and send follow-up stories
  • Contact the NAMES Project and bring The AIDS Memorial Quilt to your agency or sew a square onto the quilt, (404) 688-5500;
  • Celebrate “DAY WITH(OUT) ART” to inspire meaningful discussions about HIV/AIDS and increase awareness.  For more information, contact Visual AIDS, (212) 627-9855;
  • Display exhibits, posters, flyers, videos, or brochures about HIV/AIDS at a public setting, event, library, courthouse or during an existing community event
  • Post information about your World AIDS Day activities on your agency’s blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and other social media outlets
  • Participate with other existing World AIDS Day planning groups and coalitions to host events

Selected Resources for World AIDS Day and/or HIV/AIDS Materials

Updated Monday, September 16, 2013 at 10:27AM