December 1, 2006

Keep the Promise

Today, 1st December 2006, is World AIDS Day and the theme is

'Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise'.

Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Observance of this day provides an opportunity for governments, national AIDS programs, churches, community organizations and individuals to demonstrate the importance of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Also read Ken Chaplin's great blog on Fighting Aids bad is the AIDS pandemic…

AIDS has killed more than 25 million to date and the UN
reports that somebody in the world is newly infected with HIV every 8 seconds. According to UNAIDS, about 39.5 million people are living with HIV at the moment, of whom 37.2 million are adults, and 2.3 million are children under 15. (By another count, Up to 3.5 million children are living with HIV/AIDS.) 4.3 million people have become newly infected this year so far, 65% of them in Africa, of whom 530,000 are children under 15. About 2.9 million people have died of AIDS this year so far. 63% of all adults and children living with HIV in the world today live in Sub-Saharan Africa (almost 25 million people), which is five million more than in 2004. 34% of all deaths due to AIDS occur in southern Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, there are 24.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS. So.. it is clear that HIV/AIDS is ravaging the poorest nations of the world.

There are 5.7 million people infected with HIV/AIDS in India (pdf). And fighting the apathy & complacency about AIDS is still difficult despite the rapidly rising number of infections and wide-spread media coverage and awareness/ campaigns about the looming threat ; India having the 2nd largest number of HIV infected people after South Africa.

India - International HIV/AIDS Alliance
These major programmes are co-ordinated with other agencies contributing to Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Little wonder then that UNAIDS has issued a statement today saying now is the time for
a rethink on AIDS campaigns.

A lot will be said and rallies will be head and slogans will be shouted from pulpits around the globe today… lets hope all this leads to more and more emphasis on driving away ignorance and also serious policy implementation in
fighting this scourge..(links to a post where I compile articles related to the fight on HIV/AIDS).

This article has a nice summary of HOW TO HELP and I cut-n-paste for future reference:

  • Volunteer with the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), one of the country's most effective grassroots groups working to ensure the development of an effective range of HIV prevention options.

  • Build support for the AIDS Cure Act.

  • Download the Free Treatment for All manifesto and add your name to the campaign.

  • Echo the Global Access Project's call to urge the US government to lead a global health workforce initiative in AIDS ravaged countries.

  • Show your symbolic support by wearing a red ribbon on World AIDS Day and putting a virtual red ribbon on your site or blog.

  • Finally, talk to people. Since HIV was first identified a quarter of a century ago, it has been a stigmatized disease, resulting in silence and denial. Talking openly about HIV to your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors is the most powerful way of ending prejudice.

    In related news from today

    Good news released today, announcing that...
    ...about 1.2 million people in countries hard hit by AIDS are receiving life-extending drugs thanks to two major U.S. and international funds, double from a year ago, but many millions more need help.

    SA launches plan to combat Aids - BBC News

    Ottawa pledges $250M for AIDS - Toronto Star

    Making AIDS Drugs Available to Kids in the Developing World - Time

    45,000 walkers and 2,000 volunteers participated in the AIDS Walk in New York (a pod)

    Watch these AIDS related pods on

    World AIDS Day

    Bid 2 Beat AIDS

    25 Years of AIDS

    Aids is Killing Us

    Though not all are related, time-permitting you can also see some other pods from Current Caring


    UNAIDS: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

    AIDS.ORG: Educating - Raising HIV Awareness

    AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGIS)
    AEGIS is one of the largest HIV/AIDS databases in the world, includes the HIV Daily Briefing, updated hourly.

    The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
    A comprehensive site featuring in-depth information on topics ranging from HIV prevention to state-of-the-art treatment issues

    AIDSinfo - HIV / AIDS Information
    NIH information with information about federally approved treatment guidelines for HIV and AIDS.

    AIDS – Official journal of the International AIDS Society

    World AIDS Day Resources -- 1997-2006

    Factsheets on HIV/AIDS

    Strives to increase public awareness of AIDS through the visual arts, exhibitions, publications, and by working in partnership with artists

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