AIDS activists around the world say the deepening financial crisis emphasises the urgency of maintaining and strengthening the global response to HIV and AIDS.
“Bold and visionary leaders have to step forward”, says Allyson Leacock, chair of the World AIDS Campaign Global Steering Committee and executive director of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS.
“Rather than taking a seemingly ‘easy’ route of diverting resources, we need leadership that sees that relaxing our response to AIDS now will worsen the inequalities that fuel the spread of HIV leading to even more deaths and a far more expensive response in the future.”
Dr. Peter Piot, the executive director of UNAIDS, says AIDS is a “disease of inequalities” that continues to spread due to deep rooted societal injustices such as gender inequality, marginalisation and criminalisation of vulnerable groups.
Most current figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate more than a million AIDS cases in the United States. An estimated 56,000 new HIV infection cases are reported in the U.S. annually.
According to the American International AIDS Foundation, more than 25 million people have died from AIDS worldwide. The foundation says some 39 million people around the globe are currently HIV positive.
2.9 million people lost their lives in 2006 from AIDS.
4.3 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2006.
Approximately 11 of every 1,000 adults (ages 15 to 49) are HIV infected.
25 million children will be orphans by 2010 because of AIDS.
Joining me on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com to discuss the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day at Monday December 1 will be Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of The Foundation for AIDS Research.
Frost spent four years at the New York University Medical Center where he worked on HIV/AIDS research. He later served for a year as the inpatient care coordinator of the AIDS program at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital.
Beginning in 1998, Mr. Frost worked extensively in Asia where he facilitated the development of TREAT Asia, a network of more than 50 hospitals, community clinics, NGOs and health care facilities treating AIDS patients in 17 nations.
To talk to Frost on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time Monday December 1 CLICK HERE. There is no charge.
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