Tomorrow, Tuesday March 20th is the first day of Spring. It is also the day chosen for the annual observance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, this observance day is a “national mobilization effort designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV and AIDS.”
Why the First Day of Spring?
The new NNHAAD site tells us that it is recognized that “in many Native cultures across the US that the four seasons are highly respected in many cultures because they closely represent the cycle of life. Spring also represents a time of equality and balance and is the only day when day and night are at equal lengths. It is considered a time of profound change, new beginnings and birth, a celebration of life for all people.”
Five leading community organizations plan and implement the day:
- Commitment to Action for 7th-Generation Awareness & Education
- Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
- National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
- Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
- Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board
These organizations and many other rural and urban organizations work on March 20th -- and year round -- to address the HIV related needs of these communities. Messages, posters and event information are available on the awareness day website; NNHAAD organizers are also talking with communities and individuals on Facebook. You also can learn about HIV and the Indian Health Service HIV/AIDS Program here.Come spring, how will you observe National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day? How can you support HIV testing and awareness in this season of the celebration of life?