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WORLD AIDS DAY 2008

Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise – Leadership

Leadership calls for creativity, integrity, and competence ….. all core values of the social work profession.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2008 is LEADERSHIP.  Started on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting stigma and discrimination, and improving education.  For social workers worldwide – World AIDS Day provides the opportunity to remind others that HIV/AIDS has not gone away. There is still much to be done.

Through individual and institutional efforts – social workers from diverse areas of practice have been on the forefront of the response to the HIV/AIDS global pandemic.   Social workers have demonstrated leadership through applying our professional skills and expertise  in practice settings ranging from health and behavioral health clinics and non-profit community based programs to schools and private practice.  Social workers continue to show leadership in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels; protecting civil liberties, ensuring access to confidential testing and diagnosis, and comprehensive care and treatment.  Social work leadership has and must continue to work to improve the quality of life of all persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  (See NASW Policy Statement:  http://www.socialworkers.org/resources/abstracts/default.asp )

Globally, the social work professional must work to ensure that HIV/AIDS issues are mainstreamed into development efforts, emphasizing awareness, prevention, and care and treatment as priority areas to be actively included in organizational systems and policies. (See IFSW policy statement http://www.ifsw.org/en/p38001031.html )
“Leadership makes or breaks the response against AIDS”. Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director, March 2008.

For more about World AIDS Day, go to: http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/Resources/FeatureStories/archive/2007/20070316_WAD_Theme_2007.asp or http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/

For additional social work practice resources:Â http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/hiv_aids/siteInfo/resources.asp

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