|By Dennis McMillan|
|Published: November 26, 2009|
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to bring people together to get talking about HIV. By attending an event, you can help spread the word and break the silence on HIV. It is held every Dec. 1 internationally. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements. World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Program on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, director of the Global Program on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Dr. Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be the first of December, 1988.
The World AIDS Day theme this year is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, and recognizing these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV/AIDS services; however more commitment is needed worldwide in order to slow down this pandemic. The United Nations estimates there are now over 33.2 million adults and 2.5 million children living with HIV/AIDS today. During 2007, over 2.5 million newly infected cases were reported.
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