Friday, November 30, 2007

World AIDS Day: December 1, 2007

Tomorrow is the international World AIDS Day. It is estimated that 33.2 million people around the world (that's one in every 200) are living with HIV. Every day, 6,800 people are infected with HIV and 5,700 people die of AIDS-related illnesses.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2007 is "Stop AIDS. Keep the promise." Organizations around the world are calling on leaders to show some leadership to stop this epidemic. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “This is not the time for complacency nor apathy. It is the time for compassionate leadership.”

There are thousands of events planned around the world marking World AIDS Day. The World AIDS Campaign is stressing the urgency of new and renewed leadership commitments by all stakeholders in the response to HIV and AIDS.

The World AIDS Campaign has straightforward information about the AIDS epidemic, and suggestions for how you can get involved.

I encourage you to read World AIDS Day 2007: Electing to Fight Against HIV/AIDS, by Susan Blumenthal, MD. She has written much more eloquently than I ever could on the importance of keeping this issue in the public debate. As she states:
... of the seventeen declared Presidential candidates, only a few have detailed their plans to combat HIV/AIDS in the United States and worldwide. When nearly 25% of Americans infected with HIV are unaware that they are infected, when nearly two-thirds (63%) think domestic spending on HIV/AIDS is inadequate, and when nearly one-third believe that the U.S. is losing ground in the battle against HIV/AIDS,20 it is critical that the Presidential candidates share with the American public their proposals to fight this pandemic that threatens the health, economy and national security of our country and world.

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