World AIDS Day 2009
Along with others throughout the world, United Methodists observe World AIDS Day, Dec. 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 "Universal Access and Human Rights." It emphasizes the need for communities around the world to develop greater understanding, work in partnerships and challenge discriminatory laws, practices and policies that prevent access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
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 Methodist 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.
- Approximately, 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS.
- Around the world, Women account for half of all HIV infections.
- More that 2.7 million infections were reported in 2007.
HIV/AIDS in the United States
- In 2005, an estimated 1.2 million people were living with HIV in the United States.
- One quarter of persons living with HIV are unaware that they are infected.
- According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that number of new infections in the United States was approximately 56,300 in 2006.
- African Americans account for 48% of new HIV or AIDS diagnose in 2005, although they represent only 13% of the population.
- Women of color are severely impacted by HIV/AIDS. They represent 80% of all women estimated to be living with AIDS with African American accounting for 65% and Latinas 15%.
- In 2006, the largest number of reported infections occurred among African American women.
- The leading cause of death for African American women ages 25-35 is HIV/AIDS.
- An estimated 37% of new HIV infections in 2005 were attributed to unprotected heterosexual intercourse.
- 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.