This year, World AIDS Day focuses on ‘leadership’, the theme set by the World AIDS Campaign under the five-year slogan “Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise”. This is an appeal to governments, policy makers and regional health authorities to ensure that they meet the many targets that have been set in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and especially the promise of universal access to HIV treatment, care, support and prevention services by 2010. This campaign will run until 2010, with a related theme chosen for World AIDS Day each year.
The 2007 theme is Leadership, which highlights the need for innovation, vision and perseverance in the face of the AIDS challenge. The campaign calls on all sectors of society such as families, communities and civil society organizations - rather than just governments - to take the initiative and provide leadership on AIDS.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35 years.
Around 95 per cent of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education.
It’s said that art reaches the soul. Each of you is an artist, and you each has the opportunity to reach people and the ability to express yourselves in ways that others don’t.
HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
My best to all,