Tuesday, December 1, 2015
In memory of friends who died and for friends living with the disease
Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. It is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control. It is a day on which I recall friends who died from the disease as well as friends who live with it today.
World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day.
As of 2013, AIDS had killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people were living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, including over 250,000 children.