The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988. World AIDS Campaign is the leading international organization which plans and implements the observation.
Good News About AIDS in Poor Countries, but Treatment Still Lags
The United Nations reported on Tuesday that new infections with H.I.V. have dropped by half in the past ten years in twenty-five poor countries, particularly Africa. See http://New H.I.V. Cases Falling In Some Poor Nations, but Treatment Still Lags, New York Times, 11/21/2012.
New infections are down twenty-two percent from 2001, when there were 3.2 million globally. Newborn infections fell 40 percent, to 330,000 from 550,000. Yet, medical establishments can not rest on their laurels!
Alarming Statistics Tell
- 2.5 million people became infected in 2011 while only 1.4 million received lifesaving treatment for the first time.
- The number of people afflicted with H.I.V. in 2011 was 34 million.
- One in five living with HIV is unaware of their infection.
- Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV.
- New infections continue with approximately 50,000 Americans becoming infected with HIV each year.
- The most severely affected by HIV are gay and bisexual men of all races, with African Americans having the most cases.
What’s On The Horizon
Prevention methods include a daily prophylactic pill for the uninfected, vaginal microbicides for women and male circumcision which cuts infection risk by about 60 percent. The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Task Force last Monday proposed HIV screening as part of a routine checkup by your doctor. The screening would not just be for people who are at high risk for the virus, but for all Americans ages 15 to 64, at least once.
What YOU Can Do for World Aids Day
“Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation” is the 2012 theme for World AIDS Day. There are many ideas on aids/gov/news-and-events/awareness-days/world-aids-day on ways you can participate: reading the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, locating HIV Testing and other HIV services, sharing photos and messages in the Facing AIDS photo gallery, sharing CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Tweeting, blogging, posters and logos to download from the site, community resources, getting fact sheets about the epidemic, sharing cards with all the HIV/AIDS Awareness Days, and reading about White House Actions regarding HIV prevention.
You may want to plan an event, for example. My PFLAG (Parents of Lesbians and Gays) chapter is having a dinner on December 1st to raise money to combat AIDS.