World AIDS Day

Yesterday we missed a chance to talk about what the 20th World AIDS Day means. I read some thoughtful–and sobering–things, and also found encouragement, as I spent a little time educating myself online. In the US, as more people with HIV/AIDS live longer, the CDC cautions, there are more chances to pass the virus along to others. Both prevention and treatment go hand in hand.

Visit the CDC site to learn more about the disease or start by exploring the learn links (and see some videos too) on the site for (RED), which you may know from GAP ads. It was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise awareness and money: Several retail organizations produce (PRODUCT) RED-branded products to generate revenue for The Global Fund to invest in African AIDS programs. For more video content, visit the mothers2mothers site and learn more about their efforts to prevent the transmission of the virus to infants, and to educate, empower, and treat women, which I found inspiring.

In a guest column published on, George Katito, a researcher on the Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg, assesses the overall score in the fight against AIDS on the continent, and finds encouraging signs along with many unmet needs. Read Africa: Winning the Fight Against Aids?

Some organizations that are addressing HIV/AIDS in developing countries are listed in Current Programs and Resources – HIV / AIDS, from a resource supported by The Global Health Group at UCSF that is oriented toward private healthcare in developing countries.

For more detailed information, visit UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, cosponsored by  UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP,UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. The goal of bringing together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations in the AIDS response is to help the world prevent new HIV infections, care for people living with HIV, and mitigate the impact of the epidemic. There’s a wealth of information there–data, information on stigma and discrimination, and more.

And for other official points of view, here’s a White House link to a World AIDS Day event from yesterday featuring, as Jon Stewart would say, still-president Bush and Laura Bush, and a much shorter address from the President-Elect.

Interested in learning more? On December 8, 2008, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm at Harvard Medical School, there’s HIV/AIDS & the Right to Health: Leadership in the US and Globally, A Town Hall Meeting with US Senator John F. Kerry commemorating World AIDS Day & The 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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