World AIDS Day 2010

Wednesday, December 1 marks World AIDS Day, an opportunity to increase awareness of the disease and of the 33.4 million people living with it today.

Now in its twenty-second year, World AIDS Day is a global effort to educate people about HIV/AIDS, urge prevention, and remember the more than 25 million people who have died of AIDS since cases of it were first reported in 1981.

AIDS afflicts people in every region of the world, but 97 percent of those with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—live in low- and middle-income countries. Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest concentration of people with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 22.4 million people infected. 

Most people who live with or are at risk for HIV are in poor countries and have no access to prevention, care, or treatment, according to the World Health Organization. 

Glimmers of Hope

Despite the grim statistics, some progress has been made in the last decade. In 33 countries, 22 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, HIV incidence has dropped by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2009, according to the UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2010.

The report’s authors write that “positive behavior change can alter the course of the epidemic, while stigma and discrimination, lack of access to services, and bad laws can make epidemics worse.”

Another potentially positive development for worldwide efforts to prevent AIDS recently came from the Vatican. In Pope Benedict XVI’s book “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” excerpted on November 20 in the Vatican newspaper, the Pope stated that in special cases condom use might be justified as a first step toward taking moral responsibility for one’s actions.

AIDS, SOS, and Children

In 2010, an estimated 15 million of the world’s 25 million children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. SOS Children’s Villages, which raises AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children in 132 countries, is active across sub-Saharan Africa. SOS is committed to maintaining supportive and healthy environments that reduce the vulnerability of children and their caregivers to HIV infection. SOS also has longstanding programs to educate local families about HIV prevention and the need for families and communities to support children directly or indirectly affected by AIDS.

Read AIDS orphan statistics from SOS Children’s Villages to learn more about how the spread of HIV and AIDS has affected children around the world.

Photo credit: Jayel Aheram
By Kyna Rubin, SOS Children’s Villages

29 comments

Warren Webber
Warren Webber5 years ago

May a cure for HIV/AIDS come soon!

Laurence Meylemans
Laurence M.5 years ago

around the world !!! Thanks for this article

Nicholas Clancy
Nicholas Clancy5 years ago

Thank you for all the continuing support.

Anna S.
Anna S.5 years ago

thanks

Jane W.
Jane Warren5 years ago

I've read there is an AIDS vaccine - but statistics say it only works 1/3 of the time.

Unprotected sex - with the odds being two to one against?
I think not!

David M.
Eva Daniher5 years ago

Thanks

Kristina S.
Kristina S.5 years ago

Thanks for the article...

Greg B.
Greg B.5 years ago

Now after so many years the "stigma" of HIV / Aids needs to be addressed. Is it more EVIL than Bird Flu or Typhoid or any number of uncontrollable diseases. HIV is manageable and people live normal lives in the general community now. Someone tell the community that it is real and it is safe and they are safe.
End the terrible stigma these people endure, the days of fear are over, look toward sensible education of the general public so sufferers can move back into mainstream community.

David M.
David M.5 years ago

Thanks for info

Koty Lapid
Koty Lapid5 years ago

Thank you