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World AIDS Day

It is the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day and I’d like to provide you with some statistics.

The World Health Organization reports that 33.0 million are living with AIDS today. In 1990, 8 million people were living with AIDS.

22 million of those living with AIDS worldwide are in sub-Saharan Africa.

448,871 people in the United States were estimated to be living with AIDS by the Centers for Disease Control at the end of 2006.

Of that number, 44 percent are African-American. Blacks have outnumbered whites in new AIDS diagnoses and deaths since 1996, and in the number of people living with AIDS since 1998.

One in 50 African American males and one in 160 African American females is infected with HIV. An average black American is approximately eight times poorer than his or her white counterpart, and according to 2002 US census data 6, 8.1 million black Americans were living in poverty in 2002; 23% of the African American population as a whole.

The highest risk factor for AIDS continues to be male-to-male sexual contact. However, 65 percent of women diagnosed with AIDS contracted it through heterosexual contact.

3,775 children aged under 13 were living with AIDS at the end of 2006. The vast majority of these children acquired HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding.

In the United States, there were 14,627 deaths in 2006. Since the beginning of the epidemic, an estimated 565,927 people with AIDS have died in the USA.

The age group 35-49 years accounted for 52% of all U.S. AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006. Nearly three-quarters of all people who have died with AIDS in the U.S. did not live to the age of 45.

In 2007, two million people worldwide died of AIDS.

It’s up to us to advocate action. We must urge our leaders to fund programs that provide more than abstinence-only education, which has proven time and time again to NOT WORK. We have to step up and remember that when more people suffer, it becomes more of our problem. More of our resources are used and stretched thin.

Never stop thinking about this, and never stop fighting.

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