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World AIDS Day 2006: Safety Gear

World AIDS Day 2006: Safety Gear

December 1st, 2006: World AIDS Day will be a wake-up call for New Zealanders to confront the reality of human behaviour, says the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

This year’s NZAF World AIDS Day poster features a condom alongside three other important items of safety gear: earmuffs, a hard hat and a pair of safety goggles.

“This isn’t about ideology – it’s a scientific fact that condoms are the best preventative weapon we have in the fight against HIV,” says NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier.

World AIDS Day this year also carries a message of personal responsibility. “With HIV rates in New Zealand at their highest-ever levels, this is a reminder for sexually active adults – particularly gay and bisexual men – that condoms are as important to their health and wellbeing as seatbelts are to car travel,” Le Mesurier continues.

“There’s no cure for HIV, but it is easily preventable.”

2005 saw the highest number of new HIV diagnoses in the history of New Zealand’s epidemic, with 183 cases reported. Gay and bisexual men continue to be the most at-risk group, comprising the vast majority of new infections where transmission occurred within New Zealand.

“However, heterosexuals cannot afford to disregard HIV as the shocking rates of chlamydia show that if HIV were to grab hold it would meet no resistance,” Le Mesurier adds.

A variety of fundraising events are being held around the country for World AIDS Day, including street collections in Auckland and Wellington. Proceeds from these collections will go towards the NZAF Wellness Fund, which provides direct individual care and support for all those living with HIV in New Zealand, irrespective of age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

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COLLECTIONS & EVENTS on December 1st:

Street Collection – Queen Street and CBD in Auckland from 8 am

Street Collections – Wellington – all day

The Body Shop – all 26 branches of this retail organisation nationwide will be collecting and will have displays with condoms and “safety gear” posters in every shop

Waitakere DHO in Auckland are displaying and collecting in 30 clinics

Sky Television will be displaying and collecting in their main office in Auckland

Queen of the Whole Universe Pageant – Aotea Centre, Auckland, (proceeds to NZAF)

Red Dance, Dec 1, 10pm, Cruz Bar, Christchurch

Film screening: “3 Needles” Academy Cinema, Auckland, a portion of the ticket sales will go to Body Positive and NZAF – screening times 11am, 3:45pm, 8:45pm, 11pm

Bar collection for Body Positive – evening, K Road area, Auckland

HIV awareness seminar, Hamilton, covering: HIV/ AIDS issues within ethnic communities, groups affected by HIV/AIDS, overview of HIV/AIDS epidemic, policy and Law Reforms, how to educate youth, ethnic communities, women and men about HIV/AIDS.

20 Years On Conference, Wellington, with presenters and/or panels covering topics relating to homosexual law reform including: the 1964 killing of Charles Aberhart in Hagley Park, early law reform campaigns, Maori perspectives, the impact of HIV/AIDS, through to recent legislative developments such as the Civil Union Act and the Gender Identity Bill. Panel discussions and presentations are based on academic work, community research, or activist and community experience, with participants coming from all over New Zealand.

Two screenings of the African film ‘Yesterday’: promoted by Development and Aid agencies to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS overseas:

Auckland: The Academy, November 30 at 6:15pm; for tickets please call Trien on 0800 600 700 or 09 355 6855, or email on trien@oxfam.org.nz

Wellington: The City Gallery, December 1 from 6:30. “Yesterday” will be preceded by the short-film “Irene”, which highlights one woman’s story of living with HIV in Vanuatu; tickets available from UNICEF (Call 04 496 9610) and Caritas (Call 04 496 1742)


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