1st December World A.I.D.S Day 2010

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day, as it has been since 1988.  Some things have improved since the early 1980's but unfortunately much has not. There is still no vaccine and there is also much less publicity than 20 years ago.

For many A.I.D.S patients with access to treatment it is now seen as a chronic disease, not a  death sentence.

Health officials are asking for increased efforts to combat the HIV pandemic on this 22nd year of World AIDS Day.

Over 7,300  are infected every day. 

There is some good news this year, as the number of new infections of HIV has been reduced globally by 20 percent, according to a statement from Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director and United Nations undersecretary-general. 

While the lower number of new infections is great news, there are still an estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, one in five not knowing they are infected and about 33 million people worldwide. 

At least 30 million people have died from A.I.D.S.

“Anyone can become infected with HIV, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic circumstance. 
Some  communities are especially hard hit by HIV, making it vitally important to focus efforts on helping people with the greatest need for prevention and treatment services.”

 The World AIDS Day campaign started today in Sydney with a red-colored harbour; more than 80 iconic landmarks across 13 countries will be coloured red.

The aim of one campaign is to reduce all childhood incidences of HIV to zero by 1015.

Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the celebrities that will “end their digital lives” by signing off from all social networks including Facebook and Twitter. 

They have pledged to not come back online until $1 million is raised for Keep a Child Alive (KCA), which was co-founded by Leigh Blake and Alicia Keys.

Please remember in your prayers all those who have suffered and died from A.I.D.S and those who are H.I.V positive . Pray also for their partners, friends and families and for a greater compassion and understanding for all those affected by the disease.

Click here for a moving tribute written last year.

Take time each day this Advent season to reflect, with Christians from around the world, on the pain, hope and love made starkly visible in the HIV pandemic. 

The 37 reflections in this devotional calendar demonstrate the leadership of Christians around the world who are engaged at all levels of the response to the HIV pandemic. They are prophets and pastors, leaders and lay people, women and men, HIV positive and HIV negative – all united in the conviction that by keeping our personal and collective promises, we can reach the goal of universal access to treatment, care and prevention and work towards a future without AIDS. 

Contributers include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Rick and Kay Warren, Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, Rev. Dr. Walter Altmann, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, Sister Maria Cimperman, Erik Sawyer, Pastor Patricia Sawo, Bishop Paul and many more. 

We invite you to use this devotional resource from World AIDS Day, 1 December, to Christmas, whether celebrated in Western or Eastern traditions. The reflections can be used as individual devotions or to initiate group discussion or prayer.  
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