World AIDS Day: From London To Lahore
Posted by pozlife on December 2, 2007
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 1, 2007 – 5:00 pm ET
(London) Eight-thousand people will have died as a result of HIV/AIDS on Saturday. Eight-thousand people around the world are dying every day from complications due to AIDS every day.
Some 33.2 million people living with AIDS worldwide.
On this World AIDS Day activist groups, charities and governments all stressed the need for testing, the need for new less expensive drugs, and an end to bias against people with HIV/AIDS.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for an end to the stigmatization of PWAs.
"To overcome the stigma remains our greatest challenge. It is still the biggest hurdle to public action against AIDS," Ban said in a statement released in New York.
And he called on government to do more: "We have the means to protect young people from infection. We have the means to treat the infection."
In London, British Prime Minister Gordon used the popular YouTube to make an impassioned speech.
"Tackling HIV and Aids is one of the greatest challenges of our time and it’s a key priority for this government," he said. "World Aids Day gives us a chance to reflect on people we’ve tragically lost to the epidemic. I believe that together we can make Aids history."
The largest number of AIDS cases are in sub-Sahara Africa.
South African President Thabo Mbeki reminded people to use condoms. But he remains skeptical of anti-retroviral drugs. At an HIV/AIDS concert in Johannesburg former president Nelson Mandela said combating HIV is a cumulative effort.
"All of us working together – government, communities and civil society – can make the shift that is needed. Together we have the power to change … it is in our hands," he said.
In China government workers in a rare acknowledgement of the country’s gay community distributed thousands of safe-sex leaflets in bars and clubs.
India, which has the world’s second highest rate of HIV/AIDS, next to South Africa, launched a special train to spread awareness and encourage testing.
Dubbed the Red Ribbon Express it departed New Delhi for a trip across the country.
The Indian government also announced that a second line of HIV drugs would be provided free of charge to the poor in two of the areas worst-affected by the disease.
India has an estimated 3 million cases of HIV-AIDS.