May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012
Tips For Changing the World

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It has been another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me. Today is both the Florida AIDS Walk and the AIDS Walk New York City so stay tuned for upcoming pictures and slide shows.

Now I have a ton of emails asking how to help change the world and I can only talk from my own experience on how to do so. Of course, they are as many ways to help change come about as there are people.

But at least this gives you a please to start.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Weíre constantly challenged to make the world a better place. Each day, we come across people who may need help or guidance. Whether itís with a kind word, a hand up, or a piece of good advice, we have the power and privilege to make a difference in othersí lives in an uplifting way.

When it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention, the little things we do can have a global impact. Just like dropping a pebble into a river may cause a ripple that eventually reaches a foreign shore, your individual efforts to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and encourage testing and treatment can change the way positive people - near and far - view themselves, their communities, and our world.

Our Ambassadors of Hope are perfect examples of this effort. They share their perspectives and personal stories with their communities in order to reduce stigma and show the familiar face of HIV/AIDS. So how can YOU begin to improve the world? This month, we look to our Ambassadors of Hope for their expert advice on becoming activist, raising awareness, and combating stigma.

Bob - There are three things that I would suggest to such a person. One, make sure you know as much about HIV/AIDS as possible. Stay up on the latest public health news and events that are going on in the field of HIV/ AIDS. Secondly, make sure you're ready to be open with your status. Some people may ask you questions that will be very uncomfortable so prepare to step out of your comfort zone. Finally, remember to manage your time properly between work, school, family, and other hobbies of interest and be empathetic; meaning "have the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes

Senora - 1: Pray about it. I try to seek God first. 2: Talk to the people at your ASO, sometimes they get requests. 3: speak to your doctor or your pastor- there may be opportunities there as well.

Teresa - The first step I would tell this person is to research their local community based organization or AIDS service center that provides services for HIV positive individuals. Second step, call the organizations and ask if their organizations offer trainings on HIV 101 or if they have volunteer opportunities so you can learn the ins and outs of how a non profit works.

Justin - 1. Get as much updated information about the virus. People want to know that you know what you are talking about. Get lots of literature. 2. Target your designated high risk areas. Get familiar with the neighborhood programs/schools. Set up presentations with programs directors and school Principals. Schedule appointments to go in and present to clients and students. 3. Be open minded about anything that might come your way. Some people might not be as receptive as others. Be prepared for lots of questions. Most people don't know. Give out giveaway packages (condoms, lubes, dental damns, etc).

These are just a few of our Ambassadors of Hope's suggestions. But it gives you a small guideline how you can start to make a difference.

Hope you have a safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab