(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is one of the most destructive
and widespread epidemics in recorded history. It has killed
more than 25 million people since it was discovered in 1981,
and it is the world’s fourth leading cause of death. In 2006,
more than 3 million people died from AIDS and more than 1/2
million of them were children. 15 million children around the
world have lost one or both parents because of AIDS. 38 million
people are infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS, and
without treatment, many more will die from AIDS. Less than one
in five who need treatment have access to it.
are grim statistics, but many international organizations, charities,
governments, scientists and concerned citizens are working to
help end the AIDS pandemic.
1988, World AIDS Day was started as an opportunity to unite
the global community to fight AIDS by raising awareness and
support for its prevention and treatment. Until 2004, UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS)
the global coalition of organizations, governments and communities
collaborating on World AIDS Day activities, but since 2005 it
has been coordinated by the World AIDS Campaign. Until 2010,
the main theme of the campaigns on World AIDS Day and throughout
the year is "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise." This refers
to the Millennium Development Goals all nations agreed to at
the United Nations Millennium Summit, with one of the 8 goals
being to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Despite this
pledge, 4.3 million people became infected with the HIV virus
in 2006 - more than in any other year!
are many things that you can do to help raise awareness and
support for the global campaign to end AIDS. Wear a Red Ribbon
to shop your support for those living with AIDS and the fight
against the pandemic. Take the leadership pledge to take
a lead in fighting AIDS on the worldaidscampaign.org website.
Write letters to local and national leaders to take a greater
leadership role in the fight against AIDS, and hold an event
to urge your community to get involved.