World AIDS Day 2008 Resources
Grace and peace to you! Thank you for your interest in these resources for observing World AIDS Day.
2008 is the 20th anniversary of the observance of World AIDS Day and we remain in a critical time in our efforts to turn the tide on the HIV pandemic. There is much to be done, not just on World AIDS Day, but every day of the year if we are to reach the goal of providing universal access to comprehensive prevention, treatment and care throughout the world. Leadership is so vital to stopping HIV and AIDS, which is why leadership continues to be a primary focus for World AIDS Day 2008, under the theme set by the World AIDS Campaign, "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise."
In August of this year, a new U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) report revealed that the incidence of annual new HIV infections in the U.S. has been underreported by 40% over the past several years, raising the number from 40,000 to 56,300. Of those who are living with HIV in the U.S., the CDC estimates that 20% do not know their HIV status.
Worldwide, UNAIDS estimates 33 million people are living with HIV. For every 2 people receiving treatment there are 5 new infections. In other words, the number of new infections is 2.7 times greater than the number of people receiving treatment for HIV.
Reversing the spread of HIV can be achieved but it requires creative involvement from all sectors of society, including the church. Faith communities, individuals, governments, and others must step up to the challenges of breaking the silence and creating the changes that are needed to access our full capacity for response.
It is clearer than ever that we need leadership that empowers all people at every level to take action against the spread of HIV and AIDS. We need leadership that inspires and challenges each of us to recognize that we have a role to play by taking responsibility for our health, knowing our HIV status, preventing HIV infection, and making sure we all receive the treatment and care we need.
UCAN, Inc., the United Church of Christ HIV and AIDS Network, is collaborating with congregations and other faith organizations to facilitate leadership in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. We are prepared to help you determine what your competencies and capacities are, as well as to provide assistance as you develop your plan of action to keep the promise to stop AIDS. Become involved, access your community's leadership potential, develop your plans and work with others to make a difference. To learn more, take the next step, share your story, and become part of the UCAN network, contact us at: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 866-822-8224, ext. 3217.
Keeping the promise,
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer