(ref: United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/events/aidsday/2009/ )
The United Nations established December 1st as World AIDS Day in 1988 following the lead of the World Health Organization that also established this day of remembrance and action that same year. The theme for 2009 is “Universal Access and Human Rights“. Understanding HIV and AIDS from a human rights perspective can be difficult. Human rights are often misunderstood – and can sometimes be seen as abstract ideals with not much practical relevance for real people.
Here are affirmations that make these abstract ideals more concrete.
- I am accepted.
- I am safe.
- I am getting treatment.
- I am well.
- I am living my rights.
- Everyone deserves to live their rights.
- Everyone has the Right to Live.
- Everyone has the Right to Health.
- Access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is a critical part of human rights.
Here are some current statistics concerning the global AIDS epidemic:
- Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes.
- In 2008, some 33.4 million people are living with HIV, 2.7 million new infections and 2 million AIDS-related deaths.
- In 2008, around 430,000 children were born with HIV, bringing the total number of children under 15 living with HIV to 2.1 million.
- Young people account for around 40% of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected and is home to 67% of all people living with HIV worldwide and 91% of all new infections among children. In sub-Saharan Africa the epidemic has orphaned more than 14 million children.