The theme for World AIDS Day 2004 is "Women and AIDS" to focus attention on accelerating global response to the disease and promoting equal access to treatment.
The highlight of the MIT observance of World AIDS Day on Wednesday, Dec. 1 will once again be the Chocolate Buffet in Lobby 10. Tickets for the buffet are $5. Participants can pass by the tables of chocolate, peering at the assortment before finally choosing the three items that hold most appeal. These can be eaten in the lobby while viewing panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt or taken back to the office or dormitory to share. Chocolate desserts for the buffet are being donated by local bakeries, hotels, restaurants, catering services and members of the MIT community.
The MIT Women's League, a social and service organization open to all women in the MIT community, initiated MIT's annual observance of World AIDS Day in 1999 and has continued to coordinate the event each year. The group seeks additional volunteers to donate store-bought pastries, to bake, sell raffle and buffet tickets in advance, and to staff the buffet. To volunteer, contact Sis de Bordenave at 253-3656 or email@example.com.
The Women's League also will hold its annual raffle of goods and services donated by Boston-area businesses. Tickets for the raffle are $5. Proceeds from the buffet and raffle will be donated to The Names Project Boston, a non-profit organization that assists with HIV prevention education, raises money for community-based AIDS service organizations, and sponsors the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt provides a creative means for remembrance and healing that illustrates the enormity of the epidemic.
Other participating groups at the Lobby 10 event will have information booths. Those groups include Health Education at MIT Medical, the Children's Hospital AIDS Program, the Children's AIDS Program at Boston Medical Center, the AIDS Action Committee, the Names Project Boston, MedLINKS, United Trauma Relief, the African Student Association and the LBGT Issues Group.
World AIDS Day emerged from the call by the World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programs for AIDS Prevention in 1988 to open channels of communication, strengthen the exchange of information and experience, and forge a spirit of social tolerance. Since then, World AIDS Day has received the support of the World Health Assembly, the United Nations, and governments around the world.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 17, 2004 (download PDF).