By Christopher Harris
World AIDS Day has been significant in both Sydney and around the world.
Local companies have followed the lead of multinational giant Apple, who donated 75 million to AIDS related charities, as well as donating a portion of retail sales toward finding a cure.
On Friday, Alex Greenwich, along with SBS newsreader Ricardo Goncalves promoted the event with large corporations of the Darling Park precinct, including Commbank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Rabobank. They sold red ribbons to people in their lunch hour.
The important symbolism of red ribbons was matched by the government with action on Monday, when NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner marked the day by opening the first permanent rapid testing clinic for the disease on Oxford Street.
“Making HIV testing easier is a priority of the NSW Government’s HIV Strategy 2012-2015, which aims to dramatically drive down the number of new HIV infections,” Mrs Skinner said.
“The new permanent rapid HIV testing shopfront is a significant step in delivering quality, integrated, patient-centred care to the community. Oxford Street is also the perfect location for the shopfront given the local community’s commitment and success in facing the challenge of HIV over many, many years.”
Playing with the theme of red, the Redhot Down Under exhibition is raising awareness and money for the AIDS cause, exhibiting red headed male models at the Deutcher and Hackett Gallery in Darlinghurst throughout December.
It comes at a time when social media is getting heavily involved in awareness around AIDS. This year, the twitter hashtag, ‘weareALLclean’ was coupled with selfies of men while showering to encourage more inclusive treatment of those with HIV.