World AIDS Day 2010

Red Ribbon on stairs Today is World AIDS Day 2010 and the U.S. is joining more than 200 countries around the globe to call attention to the worldwide epidemic.

Roughly 33 million people are estimated to be living with HIV or AIDS around the globe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 56,300 new HIV cases occur each year in the U.S. and that 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV. Since 1982, 9,163 people in Minnesota have been diagnosed with HIV infection, and 6,552 people are reported to be living with HIV/AIDS in the state.

This year’s theme is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. “Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, recognising these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved. Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services.”

The White House has released a presidential proclamation:

The Global AIDS Alliance gave President Obama a less-than-stellar “C” this year (an improvement over last year’s D+).  Summing up the administration’s “strong policies with inadequate funding,” Zeitz acknowledges the innovative National HIV/AIDS Strategy, but also noted the funding shortfall for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. (To learn more about ADAP and waiting lists, this NYT article is a good primer:

To find out about local events and resources, visit the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) web site at:

For an overview of HIV/AIDS around the world, read a progress report, “Towards universal access: Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector” (compiled by WHO, UNICEF, and UNAIDS), available here:

For additional World AIDS Day resources visit these links:

Over the past thirty years we have made important progress in addressing this global epidemic – but there is so much more to do. The upcoming issue of Healthy Generations, published by Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health, will focus on HIV and the unique concerns for maternal and child public health.  Look for it in early 2011!

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