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  • 11/29/2005

World AIDS Day

1 December

World AIDS Day is commemorated around the globe on 1 December. It celebrates progress made in the battle against the epidemic — and brings into focus remaining challenges.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are 38 million adults and 2.3 million children living with HIV, and during 2005 some 4.9 million people became newly infected with the virus. 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.

Around 95% of people withHIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continentsaround the world.

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about increasing awareness, education and fighting prejudice. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

The theme for World AIDS Day

For many years, World AIDS Day has been organized by UNAIDS, who have chosen the theme after consultation with other organizations. However, in 2005 UNAIDS handed over responsibility for World AIDS Day to an independent organization known as The World AIDS Campaign (WAC).

The WAC’s theme for their campaign is"Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise". This theme is however not specific to World AIDS Day alone but to the work the WAC does throughout the year. It will also remain the focus until 2010.

This change in the way that World AIDS Day is organized has caused some confusion among HIV & AIDS organizations. Some have chosen to adopt “Stop AIDS; Keep the Promise” as their theme for World AIDS Day 2005. Others have, for the first time, picked their own topic for the events they’re holding this year on 1st December. Whatever you decide to do for World AIDS Day however, the most important thing is that you follow its basic principals by raising awareness and understanding where you live and by remembering the millions living with HIV or suffering because of AIDS.

Past World AIDS Day themes have been:

. 2005: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise.

. 2004 - Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS

. 2003 - Stigma & Discrimination

. 2002 - Stigma & Discrimination

. 2001 - I care. Do you?

. 2000 - AIDS : Men make a difference

. 1999 - Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People

. 1998 - Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People

. 1997 - Children Living in a World with AIDS

. 1996 - One World, One Hope

. 1995 - Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities

. 1994 - AIDS & the Family

. 1993 - Act

. 1992 - Community Commitment

. 1991 - Sharing the Challenge

. 1990 - Women & AIDS

. 1989 - Youth

. 1988 - Communication

World AIDS Day 2005: Stop AIDS. Keep The Promise

World AIDS Day is traditionally observed December 1. United Methodists are encouraged to observe this event on or near that day. This year’s international theme: “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” relates directly to the eight UN Millennium Goals to “Keep the Promise” to fight the sources of hunger and poverty in our world.

Read on to find out what United Methodists are doing to keep the promise to stop HIV/AIDS. Please use the information and resources on this page to learn more about how HIV/AIDS affects our society and world and for ways to observe this day in community.

Some Numbers Have Faces

Around 40 million people have HIV/AIDS worldwide
60% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa
Five people die of AIDS every minute
In the same amount of time, nine more people are infected with HIV

$8 Million of Hope

One way United Methodists are answering this crisis is through the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Heeding the biblical commands to “care for the widow and the orphan” and “visit the sick,” the 2004 General Conference delegates established The United Methodist Church Global AIDS Fund, with a goal of raising at least $8 million by 2008.

Funding supports education, prevention, care, and treatment programs for people living with HIV/AIDS. The Global AIDS Fund does not overlook the crisis in the United States. About one million people are infected in the United States and more are added to that number each day. The plan specifies that 25 percent of what each annual conference raises should be used in that conference for AIDS work, either locally or in global projects.

Preventing AIDS in the Next Generation

This critical work is starting with the next generation: infants infected by HIV at birth. Pregnant women have a one in three chance of transmitting HIV on to their infants. United Methodists are working to provide a life-preserving drug, Nevirapine, which prevents the transmission of HIV from mother to child in Zimbabwe and seven other countries.

The red ribbon

The red ribbon isan international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round and particularly around World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.

The red ribbon started as a"grass roots" effort, and as a result there is no official red ribbon, and many people make their own. It's easily done - just use some ordinary red ribbon and a safety pin!

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