This Friday, December 1, is World AIDS Day. How is the world doing in fighting a global pandemic that is now in its 25th year of existence?
Mobilization of resources by the United States and other countries over the past four years has increased treatment rates more than eight-fold in Africa and brought new hope to millions of people. On the other hand, HIV-prevention efforts lag as infection rates continue to rise in many of the world's hardest hit regions. New figures released last week by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS show that at least 4.3 million new infections occurred in the past year alone, with more than six in ten coming in Sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, in our own country, infection rates once again are on the rise in many at-risk communities.
What can we do to turn the tide? This week, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged all Episcopalians to unite as members of the ONE Episcopalian campaign to build a strong witness to our nationâs lawmakers for an end to AIDS. The full text of the Presiding Bishop's statement is here.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
To take action, click here and send a message to your lawmakers urging them to fully fund our nationâs efforts to fight HIV and AIDS at home and abroad. The resources and strategies to defeat AIDS are within humanityâs reach, if only we can build the political will.