Started on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is a time to first, remember those who have unfortunately lost their lives to the pandemic; second, to increase awareness and education about HIV/AIDS, as well as support for existing and needed programs; and third, to recommit ourselves to doing what it takes to finally end the disease.
The 2011 global World AIDS Day theme is "Getting to Zero," focused on the reality that today--30 years after the first cases of AIDS were reported--experience and science now show us it is possible to envision a world with zero new infections.
"We stand at a critical point where the scientific, human and resource investments of the past 30 years can actually turn the tide of the future epidemic, provided that we collectively don't lose momentum or focus, and ensure that the highest possible percentage of US funding goes into grassroots programs and infrastructure," said CAF President Anita Smith.
According to the UNAIDS 2011 World AIDS Day Report three key developments are:
1. HIV treatment is having a dramatic impact on saving lives and advancing HIV prevention efforts. Nearly 50% of all people eligible for HIV treatment now have access.
2. Eliminating new HIV infections in children is without our grasp. Nearly 50% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy to prevent transmitting the virus to their child.
3. New infections are at their lowest levels since 1997. Five more countries have reported declines in HIV prevalence among young people and a total of 21 countries out of 24 reporting are now seeing declines.
More about World AIDS Day announcements and events is available through the following links:
U.S. Government. http://www.aids.gov/
Office of Global AIDS Coordinator. http://www.pepfar.gov/
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/