Every year since 1988, December 1st marks World AIDS Day. This day is an opportunity for the global community to regroup and reassess the effects of the devastating pandemic HIV/AIDS. 2013 will be the 25th anniversary of international recognition and remembrance for all of those who have been affected by this disease; which has gone from an almost-certain death sentence 25 years ago, to what is now a manageable medical condition for many who lead nearly normal life spans.
According to The National Institute of Health, “more than 2 million new HIV infections and 1.6 million AIDS-related deaths occurred globally…” in 2012. The international community uses World AIDS Day to bring about innovations invested in halting the spread of this virus, by addressing he conditions and hence the tools and treatments necessary for dealing with long-term HIV infection. Creating an AIDS-free generation, where the 35 Million people living with HIV/AIDS could see a vaccine that would inhibit the diseases investment in the human body… “Additionally, NIH (National Institutes of Health (NIH)) researchers have begun early stage human testing of a monoclonal antibody (called VRC01), which in the laboratory, protected human cells against infection by more than 90 percent of known HIV strains.”
Today there are 30 life-saving antiretroviral drugs, which are combined to form cocktails, and are being used to help people around the world lead healthier lives; Even aiding women from spreading the HIV to their unborn children, but according to The National Institute of Health trouble arises when people don’t get early treatment, of the “1.1 million people living with HIV infection in the United States, only 25 percent receive ongoing medical care and have virus levels that are adequately controlled by taking antiretroviral medications as prescribed.”
Initiatives led by The United States have been of the most pivotal in fortifying and intensifying efforts in HIV prevention, testing, care, treatment, and research. In fact, President George W. Bush was a global leader in the fight on HIV/AIDS, “In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat global HIV/AIDS… PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease. This effort has helped bring life-saving treatment to more than 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people – including more than four million orphans and vulnerable children – around the world.” You see, “As of September 30, 2008, PEPFAR was supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than two million people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.When the President announced PEPFAR in 2003, only 50,000 people in all of Sub-Saharan Africa were receiving antiretroviral treatment.” Link here to Learn More regarding President George W. Bush legacy to AIDS.
Just weeks ago The White House and President Obama stated, “We know now that by focusing on early detection and treatment, we can both prevent long-term complications and reduce transmission rates…This is a global fight, and America continues to lead. The United States has provided HIV prevention, treatment, and care to millions around the world, helping to dramatically reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths.” The White House Statement
One of the most interesting facts related to HIV/AIDS in America, is the incredulous number of Latinos that are affected by the disease; in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how Latinos are disproportionately affected by AIDS “In 2009, Latinos accounted for 20% of new HIV infections in the United States while representing approximately 16% of the total US population.”
These staggering statistics mean that many are affected by the virus, Gen Y has the opportunity to change the lives of future generations and set the path away from devastation due to HIV/AIDS. So don’t let the day go by without getting involved and spreading the word, tomorrow make sure to Tweet #FacingAIDS; we live in an ultra-globalized world, so use those thumbs and in 140 characters or less do your part to help influence the movement to cure HIV/AIDS. The more the #FacingAids trends, the better future we can create not just for Gen Y’s, but for humanity. Learn how you can help: Aids Website