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Spiritual Growth

World AIDS Day 2013

Keep the Promise on AIDS: advocacy for research and prevention

Along with others throughout the world, United Methodists observe World AIDS Day on December 1. On this day in 1988, the World Health Organization created a time in which the world could honor those millions of individuals who were living with HIV, those who have died, and all those providing support – caregivers, families, friends and communities.

This year's global theme is "Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation." It highlights the promise of new research and prevention efforts that will help stop the spread of HIV. HIV testing and treatment are critical to prevent the further spread of HIV.

World AIDS Day also provides each of us with the chance to acknowledge the accomplishments made in combating HIV/AIDS and recognize the need for governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations and individuals to continually recommit our efforts to raise consciousness in the community about HIV/AIDS. United Methodists are encouraged through the Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church to develop and actively participate in HIV/AIDS education programs, intercessory and healing prayer and public advocacy for all those impacted by HIV/AIDS in our communities. 

HIV/AIDS Worldwide

  • Approximately 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Around the world, Women account for half of all HIV infections.
  • Last year, 260,000 children were newly infected with HIV.
  • 3.3 million children are living with HIV.
  • In 2012 alone, 1.6 million people died from AIDS-related illness.
  • HIV is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age.

HIV/AIDS in the United States

  • More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States.
  • One in five persons living with HIV are unaware that they are infected.
  • There were approximately 50,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2012.
  • African Americans accounted for 44% of new HIV or AIDS diagnoses in 2010, although they represent only about 12% of the population.
  • Women of color are severely impacted by HIV/AIDS. African American and Hispanic women represent 27% of all women in the U.S., but account for 79% of AIDS cases among women.
  • The HIV infection rate among African American women is nearly four times higher than the rate among white women.

Take Action

  • Learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact in your community and around the world.
  • Educate others about HIV/AIDS. Talk honestly and openly about the disease, transmission and prevention.
  • Volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS organization.
  • Be a friend to someone living with HIV/AIDS or impacted by the disease.
  • Organize a meeting for your congregation, local unit or community. Invite local educators, business leaders, health professionals, friends and neighbors to discuss HIV/AIDS and its impact on the community. 
  • Be a voice in helping to end the stigma that is associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Observe World AIDS Day on or around December 1 each year.
Last Updated: 03/20/2014

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