December 1st 2010 National Worlds AIDS Awareness Day

World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year
around the world.  It has become one of the most
recognised international health days and a key opportunity
to raise awareness, commemorate thosewho have
passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased
access to treatment and prevention services.

World AIDS Day 2010: Rates of new HIV infections are slowing, but what now?

   Scores of cities and communities all over the world will dim the lights this December 1st to mark World AIDS Day as part of the Light for Rights campaign which focuses on human rights, HIV and AIDS.

World AIDS Day 2010: More than 100 “light for rights”
 events around the globe showcase vital link
between human rights and aids response

1 December, 2010 New York (December 1, 2010)—Commemorating World AIDS Day 2010, lights on landmarks all over the world—from New York to Paris and from Ethiopia to Thailand—will be turned off Wednesday, December 1, during more than 100 events to remember those lost to AIDS. Those same lights will then be turned back on to emphasize the importance of human rights for people living with HIV and people at risk of infection.

The events are part of a series of nearly 100 global activities marking World AIDS Day and the LIGHT FOR RIGHTS Campaign, organized by UNAIDS, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the World AIDS Campaign.

“The dimming of lights reminds us of the continued violations of human rights that force marginalized populations and people living with HIV to live in the shadows,” said Michel Sidib√©, UNAIDS Executive Director. “When cities turn back on the lights, they symbolically remind us of the need to shine the spotlight on the human rights of every person affected by HIV.”

Across the world, thousands of people on six continents and more than 100 events are organizing rallies, symposiums, testing days, and memorial services to mark World AIDS Day under the Light for Rights banner.

America's global fight against AIDS

During a presidency often forced to focus on issues of national security, the fight against global disease was sometimes viewed as an anomaly or exception. It wasn't and isn't. America has a direct stake in the progress and hope of other nations...

In 2003, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was announced.  An ambitious bilateral program to confront the worst of the pandemic with speed and urgency...

Today, thanks to America, other donor nations and the tireless work of Africans themselves, nearly 4 million are now on treatment. Fragile nations have been stabilized, making progress possible in other areas of development...

And has served American interests to help prevent the collapse of portions of the African continent. But this effort has done something more: It has demonstrated American character and beliefs. America is a certain kind of country, dedicated to the inherent and equal dignity of human lives. It is this ideal - rooted in faith and our founding - that gives purpose to our power. When we have a chance to do the right thing, we take it.

On this World AIDS Day, considerable progress has been made. The United Nations recently reported that the world has begun to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, considerable need remains. Every human life is precious, and far too many people around the world continue to suffer from the disease.

-Obama Administration officials and leaders in the AIDS community will speak at a World AIDS Day event at the White House to reflect on the lessons learned and the path forward in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the United States and around the world. The White House World AIDS Day Event will include keynote remarks as well as a panel discussion with HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates and will be live streamed at 1:30 on