Today marks the 24th anniversary of World AIDS Day, an international observance in support of those living with HIV/AIDS and in memory of the lives lost in the epidemic. In honor of World AIDS Day, GLAAD has put together a resource kit to provide you with more information around HIV/AIDS.
In the United States, 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. 1 in 5 remains unaware of their positive status. Approximately 50,000 US Americans are newly infected with HIV each year. Worldwide, an estimated 34 million women and men are living with HIV/AIDS, 22.5 million of them citizens of Sub-Saharan Africa—where 3 people die every minute from complications related to HIV/AIDS.
While the situation remains dire, progress continues to be made and international solidarity deepens each year.
Notably, 2012 marked the first time in 22 years that the International AIDS Conference was hosted in the United States. On Thursday November 29, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring December 1 World AIDS Day. On December 3, the first business day after World AIDS Day, Google will be hosting a How to Survive a Plague Google+ Hangout from its New York City headquarters. And many organizations and individuals around the world continue to advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Formed in New York in 1985 to protest the New York Post's grossly defamatory and sensationalized AIDS coverage, GLAAD for its part has continued its work to ensure that the lives of LGBT people affected by the virus are not defamed in the media. And while we can acknowledge that progress has been made in the conversation around HIV/AIDS that now reflects a more humanizing tone, there remains significant work to be done around the criminalization of the infection, both in the media and within the public's perception.
GLAAD encourages media outlets to continue to highlight the stories of the individuals affected by the epidemic (like Philip Kucab) while lending their editorial influence to denounce the criminalizing of people currently infected with HIV/AIDS.
Follow World AIDS Day on Twitter using hashtag #WAD2012 and find more information on our World AIDS Day resource page.