Today marks the beginning of the last month of the year, but it also is a reminder for us about the importance of bringing HIV/AIDS to an end. Today is World AIDS Day. A time for education and action regarding the disease that still is affecting many worldwide.
Phil Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, had this to say in a statement on World AIDS Day:
We are at a deciding moment. We have the tools to end the AIDS epidemic in America. We can do more than imagine the end of the epidemic: We can make it happen. We have new diagnostic tools, new surveillance capabilities, new prevention strategies, new treatment options, and a new understanding of how to interrupt acquisition and transmission. The question is no longer can we end AIDS? The question is: Do we have the moral will and the political leadership to do it. Will we use these newly acquired and in some cases primitive tools efficiently, compassionately and effectively?
I feel that quote can be applied to much in public health and glad Wilson made that part of his statement. He also mentions the national strategy that was developed to combat HIV/AIDS that President Obama put into place. Despite the tremendous amount of politics and commercialization that get attached to these health issues, we must remain focused on the goal of prevention and bringing them to an end.
For those of you active on Twitter, the official hashtag for World AIDS Day is #WAD11
Here are some other highlights for World AIDS Day:
- Phil Wilson’s entire statement
- Crowd Out AIDS initiative (social media/crowdsourcing)
- AIDS.gov resources (@Aidsgov on Twitter)