Today Is World AIDS Day

Today, Tuesday December 1st is World AIDS Day. Throughout the world there
are events today which shine light on this devastating disease, and to honor
and remember those who have been lost to AIDS, as well as those who suffer with
the disease today. These events educate and inform their communities about the
history of the AIDS and the future of the battle against it. Fresno’s local
event will be tonight at the Tower Theater @ 815 E Olive Avenue. The event
starts at 5:30PM and includes HIV/AIDS information and education provided by
local agencies, viewing of panels from the AIDS Quilt as well as entertainment
and refreshments.


Below is the Presidential Proclamation issued by Barack Obama on November
25th, concerning AIDS and World AIDS Day.

Presidential Proclamation– World AIDS Day

Our Nation joins the world in celebrating the extraordinary advancements we
have made in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and remembering those we have
lost. Over the past three decades, brave men and women have fought devastating
discrimination, stigma, doubt, and violence as they stood in the face of this
deadly disease. Many of them would not be here today, but for the dedication of
other persons living with HIV, their loved ones and families, community
advocates, and members of the medical profession. On World AIDS Day, we
rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish
the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to
renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.

Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against
HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine-and-a-half
minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be
living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in
five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections
are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not
discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any
gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting
the disease.

Globally, there are over 33 million people living with HIV. While millions
have died from this disease, the death rate is slowly declining due, in part,
to our Nation’s global effort through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS
Relief (PEPFAR) program. However, HIV remains a leading cause of death
worldwide. Women and children around the world are particularly vulnerable due
to gender inequalities, gaps in access to services, and increases in sexual
violence. While the statistics are distressing, new medications and scientific
advancements give us reason for hope.

Tackling this disease will take an aggressive, steadfast approach. My
Administration is developing a national HIV/AIDS strategy to bolster our
response to the domestic epidemic, and a global health initiative that will
build on PEPFAR’s success. We will develop a strategy to reduce HIV incidence,
improve access to care, and help eliminate HIV-related health disparities. We
have already ensured that visitors to our shores living with HIV are not
marginalized and discriminated against because of their HIV status. We have
also secured the continuation of critical HIV/AIDS care and treatment services.
Today, we recommit ourselves to building on the accomplishments of the past
decades that have dramatically changed the domestic and global HIV/AIDS

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the
United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2009, as World AIDS Day. I urge
the Governors of the States and the territories subject to the jurisdiction of
the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to
remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to provide support and
comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of
November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


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