World AIDS Day 2013

Every year since 1988, we have paused on December 1st to remember our loved ones, recognize those doing amazing work around us, and recommit ourselves to ending this pandemic.

This year’s theme is Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation

HIV is still presenting huge challenges:

  • The CDC estimates that there are 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV, and that nearly one in five are not aware that they’re infected.
  • Only 33% of those living with HIV are currently receiving treatment.
  • Comparing 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections among black women decreased 21 percent, from 7,700 in 2008 to 6,100 in 2010. While this decline is encouraging, black women continue to be far more affected by HIV than women of other races/ethnicities and account for nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all new infections among women.
  • African American and Hispanic/Latino populations continue to have higher rates of HIV infections than whites, in part due to a number of social and economic challenges, such as lack of access to care, discrimination, stigma, homophobia and poverty.

Housing Works, GMHC, ACTUP and members of New York’s HIV/AIDS community came together on the 25th commemoration of World AIDS Day in Times Square, by declaring that now is the time to end AIDS as an epidemic here in New York State.

  • New York State has borne the highest US burden of the HIV since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic 1981.
  • New York State has also been the center of activist, community, government and scientific innovation and collaboration in responding to the AIDS pandemic.
  • New York State has the people, institutions, resources and political will to end our AIDS epidemic and to become a leader nationally and globally in showing how to end AIDS.

It is indeed a shared responsibility: while the virus knows no race, gender, nationality or sexuality barrier, the way we interact with and treat each other is key to prevention.

It’s time for us to join together to fight both HIV itself and the rampant ignorance, intolerance, and apathy surrounding this disease.

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