World AIDS Day 2010

1 December 2010

World AIDS Day, which falls on 1 December, draws together people around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The Day is one of the most visible opportunities for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic, renew commitments and engagement, and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world. The theme of the 2010 World AIDS Day is “Universal Access and Human Rights”.

The latest UNAIDS report, released in November 2010, shows that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to change course as the number of people newly infected with HIV is declining and AIDS-related deaths are decreasing. Globally, new HIV infections have fallen by nearly 20% in the last 10 years, and AIDS-related deaths are down by nearly 20% in the last five years. At the end of 2009, 33.3 million people were estimated to be living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region most affected by the epidemic with 69% of all new HIV infections, 67 % of all people living with HIV and 72% of all AIDS-related deaths.

Human rights are fundamental to any response to HIV/AIDS. The promotion and protection of these rights are necessary to empower individuals and communities to respond to the epidemic. World AIDS Day 2010 provides an opportunity to intensify efforts to ensure that the basic human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS are protected; and to continue to strive towards meeting the universal access targets for prevention, treatment and care.

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