Today is World AIDS Day. Established by the World Health Organization in 1988 World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st. It is a tool to raise awareness, improve education, raise money and fight discrimination and prejudice. It is an important reminder that while important steps have been made in treatment HIV and AIDS are not gone and we all still have a lot of work to do.
In 2007, the estimated number of persons living with HIV worldwide was 33.2 million and there were 2.1 million AIDS deaths. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
While, obviously, it is important to take action far beyond one day of the year, today is a reminder that we can all do something:
* Educate yourself
* Raise awareness in your communities
* Speak out against Abstinence only “sex ed” and for realistic sex ed for young people
* Practice safer sex, protect yourself and your partners
* Get tested
* Volunteer your time and donate your money to an organization working to stop AIDS
* Demand universal access to treatment for all those who need it