Saturday, October 15, 2005

World AIDS Awareness Day - December 1 2005

World AIDS Day was established on December 1, 1988 by the World Health Organization to raise awareness about the pandemic's impact on communities around the world. This observance is also a way to express solidarity for people in different regions of the world suffering the effects of the disease. The 2005 theme is Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise.

Today the global picture on HIV/AIDS is bleak: in the two decades since the epidemic began, over 20 million people around the world have died. In 2004, 39 million people were living with HIV/AIDS. Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit, with 25 million people living with this disease. Other regions including Asia and Latin America are seeing a rapid increase in new infections. Women are infected at about the same rate as men. They account for nearly half of those living with the disease around the world. On the up side, since 2001, global funding for HIV/AIDS has increased from roughly US$ 2.1 billion to an estimated US$ 6.1 billion in 2004.

This year join people around the world in planning World AIDS Day activities at your school, parish or diocese to spread the word about the devastating impact of this disease on individuals and communities. CRS will soon unveil a World AIDS Day web portal with resources you can use to plan your events, including a fact sheet, prayer resources, lesson plans, Church statements and profiles on the HIV/AIDS situation in four countries. Information to download these resources will be available in the next issue of the Advocate.

You may also keep up with the work of CRS on HIV/ AIDS in Africa by visiting CRS Africa Campaign website. Information is also available on the website of the National Catholic AIDS Network, The next national NCAN Conference will be on July 12-16, 2006 at Loyola University in Chicago.


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