Every year on December 1st, the world gathers to honor World AIDS Day. On this day, we remember those who have been lost to this virus, we fight for those living with the virus, and we unite in the goal to end stigma and prevent new HIV infections. This year, this event is as important as ever. There are almost 37 million people living with the virus worldwide, and about 39 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the epidemic began. In the United States, over 1 million people live with this virus currently. Even with amazing advances in medication and treatment for folks with HIV/AIDS, people in the U.S. still do die from AIDS. Each year, we lose about 14,000 people in the U.S. to the virus.

However, with your support, we are fighting hard and we are having much success. Most people who need life saving medication in the U.S. can access it. There are new prevention methods to keep people from contracting HIV. When we create an environment where more people speak up and out about living with the virus, stigma decreases, and people realize anyone can contract HIV.

At Vermont CARES, we have spent the last 30 years providing case management services to people living with HIV in this state. We currently serve 170 Vermonters living with the virus. In this last year alone, we’ve helped 147 people with housing related assistance, offered 311 free HIV tests to the community, and have reached 2,500 high school and college students with our education program.

This day is an opportunity to show your support and solidarity with all those living with HIV/AIDS. If you are interested in helping us continue this work, please consider donating to us today, Giving Tuesday. If you donate today, you will enter the chance to win amazing prizes. See our Giving Tuesday page for details.

We could not do all of this without your support. Speak up to end the stigma, show up for those you know living with the virus, and know we are here with you mourning those who have been lost.