Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day 2006

Support World AIDS DayToday is World AIDS day. If you aren't familiar with how complex AIDS is, here are some items from the UN 2006 global AIDS epidemic report:
- To date around 65 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised in 1981. The vast majority of the 38.6 million people living with HIV in 2005 are unaware of their status. AIDS is among the greatest development and security issues facing the world today.
- In 2005 AIDS claimed the lives of 2.8 million people and over 4 million people were newly infected with the virus.
- At around 17.3 million, women make up almost half of the total number of people living with the virus, 13.2 million of which live in sub-Saharan Africa (76% of all women living with HIV).
- Sub-Saharan remains the most affected region in the world. Two thirds of all people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa where 24.5 million people were living with HIV in 2005.
- Growing epidemics are underway in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where 220,000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2005.
- Declines in HIV prevalence have been noted in Kenya, Zimbabwe, urban parts of Haiti and Burkina Faso and four Indian states including Tamil Nadu.
- Worldwide, less than one in five people at risk of becoming infected with HIV has access to basic prevention services.. Across the world, only one in eight people who want to be tested are currently able to do so.
- Each day, 1500 children worldwide become infected with HIV, the vast majority of them newborns.
Many of you are probably familiar with the session with Bono and Bill Hybels at the Willow Creek Leadership Conference [I personally didn't attend] - specifically on AIDS and the Church - here is a transcript from Bono speaking at last year's National Prayer Breakfast, which I've heard is mostly the same thing. Word on the street says that some leaders at GCC are taking this AIDS thing seriously and that there are some people putting a plan together to make sure we as a church get involved. Would love to tell you more, but that is [sort of] all that I know.

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