Mayor of Berlin promotes World AIDS Day awareness

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Cities around the world are commemorating World AIDS Day, an annual observance aimed at raising awareness of the global epidemic of AIDS and the spread of HIV.

Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller thanked the organization Berliner Aids-Hilfe which is one of the largest HIV-service organizations in Germany on the local level.

Mayor Müller stated on social media: “Berliner Aids-Hilfe provides exemplary work for people with HIV and AIDS in Berlin and is an important partner with the international metropolitan initiative Fast Track Cities, which is aimed to end AIDS by 2030.”

The Berliner Aids-Hilfe is a non-profit organization that was created in 1985 as a self-help group for HIV/AIDS patients. Their main tasks include counseling HIV-positive people in Berlin on medical, social, and legal matters, and providing emotional support and companionship. The organization is also dedicated to HIV prevention among youth and migrants, as well as trying to eliminate HIV stigma using media campaigns and events.

According to the United Nations, more than 37 million people are living with the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. IN 2014, mayors from 26 cities, as well as major global partners, met in Paris to launch the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities which aims at ending AIDS in cities by 2030. Since then, the Paris Declaration has been endorsed by more than 300 towns and municipalities around the world.

“As a member of the Board of Trustees of the Berliner Aids-Hilfe, I ask for your support for this valuable work. My thanks go to the more than 160 volunteers who are involved throughout the year and thus set a strong sign of solidarity, mayor Müller stated.

Mayor of Berlin also stressed that stigma and discrimination are major challenges the members of this group continue to face in their everyday lives. Misinformation regarding HIV led to widespread misconceptions about people living with the disease, many of which were used to fuel stigma and discrimination.

“People with HIV still experience exclusion and are stigmatized. Today, HIV infection is easily treatable and people with HIV on therapy cannot pass on the virus,” Müller stated.


Photo credit: Facebook/Michael Muller