World Aids Day: Leadership Must Keep the Promise

World AIDS Day 2007

Yesterday was World AIDS Day, which is observed each year on December 1st. It is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people, with an estimated 38.6 million people living with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 3.1 million (between 2.8 and 3.6 million) lives in 2005, of which more than half a million (570,000) were children. The concept of a World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it has been taken up by governments, international organizations and charities around the world.

While in recent years much attention has been focused on global AIDS, it is essential that we not overlook the fact that the disease remains a significant public threat in the United States, where it has become a nearly forgotten epidemic. Consider this: every 13 minutes, an American is newly infected with HIV, and 10% of them are children and adolescents under 24 years old. More than 500,000 Americans have died from the illness in the past quarter century; moreover, in the 30 minutes it takes many people to commute to work, AIDS steals the life of another American.

Philadelphia: The Pet Shop Boys

The Survivors: The Pet Shop Boys

From the Lyrics:

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive

The survivors – Our heads bowed
The survivors – At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
In suits or sequins
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive.

Stop AIDS: unaids posi+ive

World Aids Day 2007

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