Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

President Obama Speaks At World Aids Day Event

World AIDS Day is held the first day of December each year as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

The World AIDs Day web site provides these statistics about the disease.
More than 90,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
Speaking today at George Washington University President Obama told a crowd (that included the likes of Alicia Keyes and Bono, who performed at the event): “The rate of new infections may be going down elsewhere, but it’s not going down in America. The infection rate here has been holding steady for over a decade. There are communities in this country being devastated by this disease. When new infections among young, black, gay men increase by nearly fifty percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter. When Latinos are dying sooner than other groups; when black women feel forgotten even though they account for most of the new cases among women, we need to do more.”
Since AIDS was identified 30 years ago, the United States has played a leading role in achieving scientific progress, and in translating science into programs. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), established by President George W. Bush and a bipartisan Congress and expanded by President Obama, has put that science into action to save the lives of millions in the developing world. Today, President Obama announced new prevention goals for PEPFAR and more funding for the cure and treatment of the disease.

Tweeted former LA Laker, Magic Johnson, living with HIV for more than twenty years:

Thank you to who announced today increased funding on HIV treatment in the US & abroad.
The president has instituted a World AIDS Day Proclamation. Read it here
A draped pink ribbon adorns the White House in honor of World AIDS day.
Several events to mark the occasion are being planned across the country.  Events in our region to honor the day include a free screening of the movie “The Other City” (a film by former BET owner, now Wizards co-owner, Dr. Sheila Johnson) will be shown at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

The web site has information on where to get free condoms and how to anonymously tell someone in 4 easy steps they may have been exposed to an STD.
On representative Steny Hoyer's web site a search engine is provided to locate various HIV/AIDS services via zip code.

When talking about HIV/AIDs in the DC community, which ranks highest of any major city, you can't forget to mention radio show personality, Darian Morgan (aka Big Tigger).  His tireless effort to bring AIDs awareness to the DC metro area under the mantra 'Know Your Status, Get Tested' has brought together businesses, professional atheletes and city officials in support of the cause.  His two profiled events, the former Big Tigger Classic, a three-day summer weekend sports themed event with professional athletes from the NFL and the NBA, actors and celebrities, and his annual Ride For Life motorcylcle ride through Prince Georges County, MD have both provided awareness to the DC area's young and adult communities.   

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