On World AIDS Day, we remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and we recommit ourselves to fighting and preventing HIV/AIDS and to comforting those infected and their loved ones. This year, the United States has established a theme of “Leading with Science, Uniting for Action” and the United Nations has established its own theme: “It Takes a Village.”
President Obama will speak today in Washington at an event hosted by the ONE Campaign and (RED), joining former President George W. Bush and others who have been so critical in the worldwide fight against AIDS. The event is called “The Beginning of the End of AIDS.”
On November 8, 2011, Secretary Clinton announced that creating an AIDS-free generation is a policy priority for the United States.
The fight against AIDS began three decades ago in June 1981. American scientists reported the first evidence of a mysterious new disease. It was killing young men by leaving them vulnerable to rare forms of pneumonia, cancer, and other health problems. Now, at first, doctors knew virtually nothing about this disease. Today, all those years later, we know a great deal.
AIDS has killed 30 million people around the world, and 34 million are living with HIV today. In Sub-Saharan Africa—where 60 percent of the people with HIV are women and girls—it left a generation of children to grow up without mothers and fathers or teachers. In some communities, the only growth industry was the funeral business.
For now, AIDS is still an incurable disease, but it no longer has to be a death sentence.
Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs Marjut Robinson