Here is the Wikipedia definition of World AIDS Day:
World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people, with an estimated 38.6 million people living with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 3.1 million (between 2.8 and 3.6 million) lives in 2005, of which more than half a million (570,000) were children.
The concept of a World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it has been taken up by governments, international organizations and charities around the world.
From its inception until 2004, UNAIDS spearheaded the World AIDS Day campaign, choosing annual themes in consultation with other global health organizations. In 2005 this responsibility was turned over to World AIDS Campaign (WAC), who chose Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise as the main theme for World AIDS Day observances through 2010, with more specific sub-taglines chosen annually. This theme is not specific to World AIDS Day, but is used year-round in WAC’s efforts to highlight HIV/AIDS awareness within the context of other major global events including the G8 Summit. World AIDS Campaign also conducts â€œin-countryâ€ campaigns throughout the world, like the Student Stop AIDS Campaign, an infection-awareness campaign targeting young people throughout the UK.
It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995 the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.
Here is a small portion of the list of friends I have lost to AIDS:
- Steve Lansing 1993
- Carl Woodford 1994
- Quience Sykes 1994
- Yul Stell 1996 (?)
- Paul 1997 (?)
- Darrin 1998 (?)
There have been far too many of my buddies at the bars that have been lost to AIDS as well. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names and years of passing. I’ve never been good with names but I always will remember their smiling faces, conversations, and fun times dancing at the bars.