Monday, November 30, 2009
"Universal Access and Human Rights" is this year's theme. World AIDS Day is a reminder that AIDS has not gone away. To achieve the goal everyone must do his/her part in the fight. Governments must get involved and keep the promises they made. Community leaders must encourage its members to take leadership roles in sharing information. Individuals must get tested, know their rights to prevention and treatment, and take action against stigma and discrimination, because HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.
According to AIDS.gov, the estimated number of people living with HIV worldwide is over 33 million, over one million Americans are living with HIV. There are 2.1 million children with the disease. During 2008, 2.7 million people became infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected do so before the age of 25 and die from AIDS before they are 35.
It is important to get tested. Early detection save lives. Effective HIV care - including antiretroviral therapies and regular access to primary health care-can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer. So if you don't know your status, get tested.
Since 1988, the face and response to HIV/AIDS has greatly changed. Throughout the year, I will post information about these changes and how they have impacted communities.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Testing Resources
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
World AIDS Day
World Health Organization