World AIDS Day
Today, December 1, 2008, marks the 20th Anniversary of World Aids Day. From a red glowing space needle in Seattle, Washington, to a prayer walk in Mbarara, Uganda, millions of people will spend the day bringing awareness to and taking action on an epidemic that does not discriminate by age, gender, class nor does it have borders.
Since the 1980’s, the global community has done much to combat HIV/AIDS, but the number of those infected continues to rise with over 33 million people today living with the disease. Many of those who live with the HIV virus live in the developing world with inadequate access to medical care and life saving treatments, as well as lack of comprehensive education on how to prevent the spread of AIDS.
The U.S. has been a leader in the global fight against AIDS and in 2003 launched the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In July of this year Congress reauthorized PEPFAR, with overwhelming support from the American people who wrote letters and made phone calls to their Congressional members.
But still we need to do more! Hunger and AIDS in the developing world go hand and hand. Those who suffer from AIDS in the developing world need more than just medicine. They need nutritious food as well. AIDS affects more than those who live with the disease but leaves in its wake, millions of orphaned children. This is why when the world’s countries adopted 8 goals that address the root causes of poverty, HIV/AIDS made the list as number six (The Millennium Development Goals). AIDS, poverty and hunger are all intertwined. We must take a holistic approach at the global problems of today for long term and effective solutions tomorrow.
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