Rock and Roll and World AIDS Day
Each year, on December 1st, since 1988, the world has celebrated World Aids Day. That day is today. The history of World AIDS Day can be found at the official website, but it's pretty remarkable and noteworthy that this was the first ever global health day. As a nurse- and specifically a mental health and addictions nurse- HIV and AIDS is something that I do a lot of education on, and a lot of screening for. But there is also such a crossover with AIDS and the music community, and as a radio DJ, I want to highlight that as well. The rock community does some AMAZING things to help with foundations and research for HIV/AIDS, and in celebration of World AIDS Day, I want to point out a few.
After the passing of Freddie Mercury in 1991 from AIDS, Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May, along with their manager Jim Beach, started the Mercury Phoenix Trust. According to their statistics, the foundation has funded over 700 projects globally in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as donated over 16 million dollars. They even host "Freddie For a Day" globally since 2010, where people dress up or pay homage to Freddie Mercury on his birthday, September 5th, to raise awareness.
U2 is another big rock band that has played a huge roll historically in the fight against HIV/AIDS. And according to the Washington Post, this year the band is breaking their pact to never play golf, and auctioning off a chance to play mini-golf with them as part of a fundraiser for World AIDS Day. You can check out all of the celebrity raffles and campaigns here.
And then of COURSE, there is Elton John, who has made himself well-known in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Elton John AIDS Foundation has grown into a massive non-profit organization, and has raised over $385 million for this battle.
There are of course so many more musicians and artists who donate time, fundraise, and support foundations, and that is exactly what I love about the rock community. It's not just about the music.