International Community Marks World AIDS Day

“While welcoming the solid progress being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, United Nations officials marked World AIDS Day [on Sunday] with urgent appeals for the international community to work even harder to end stigma, discrimination and complacency, to stop new HIV infections among children and to ensure access to care and treatment for all those that need it,” the U.N. News Centre reports (12/1). “The global theme for this World AIDS Day is Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths,” Xinhua notes (Edwards, 11/30). A report (.pdf) released by UNAIDS ahead of World AIDS Day “shows that we are closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation,” VOA News writes, noting the “number of people around the world who are newly infected with HIV [has dropped] by 30 percent over the past several years” (Pearson, 11/27). “However, health officials and support groups say the number is still too high and want much more emphasis placed on pediatric AIDS,” VOA News adds in a separate article (DeCapua, 11/29).

To commemorate the day, “President Obama said Wednesday an AIDS-free generation is ‘within our reach’ if research and development are prioritized,” according to United Press International (11/28). “On this World AIDS Day, as we reflect on the extraordinary progress we have made together, it is important to remember that our work is far from finished,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, adding, “With a sustained focus on strengthened results and shared responsibility, I know that we can get there” (11/29). “As we observe World AIDS Day 2013 …, “[w]e rededicate ourselves to working with our partners across the nation and around the globe to fortify and intensify our efforts in HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment, and research,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement (11/29). “Bono sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to talk about the dramatic turnaround in the battle against a virus that has killed more than 25 million worldwide since 1981,” ABC News notes (Kiwan, 12/1). “Pope Francis has called on Catholics to pray for people suffering from HIV and AIDS during an address on World AIDS Day,” VOA News writes in a third article (12/1).

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