Kingston, NY - Citing the importance of uniting with global leaders in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein recognized December 1st, World AIDS Day. The County Executive urged local leaders and residents to join him in working for full access to education, treatment and care for all who need it.
"Much progress has been made in diagnosing and treating this terrible disease; however, there are still far too many people, including children, who do not have access to the preventative education and treatment services that can save their lives," said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. "We can, and must, do more to make sure everyone is protected."
"HIV is a disease that can be controlled through education and preventative measures, said Legislator Walter Frey, Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. "Unlike cancer, we can stem the suffering of this infectious disease by embracing the various tools and knowledge that are available in our county healthcare system.
"We are living in a time where knowing your HIV status should be a routine part of any health check up," said Public Health Director Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck. "We must make a commitment as a community vested in the health of all of our residents to promote knowing your HIV status, and seeking prevention, treatment, and care, where needed."
Started on December 1st, 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS day theme for 2010 is "Universal Access and Human Rights."
World AIDS Day is also important for reminding people that HIV has not gone away. According to a UNAIDS estimate, there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009, 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS.
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower and middle-income countries; however, HIV is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
Here in the United States, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, developed by the White House Office of National Aids Policy in collaboration with a broad spectrum of interested stakeholders, is a comprehensive plan focused on:
Reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV, and Reducing HIV-related health disparities.
More information about World AIDS Day, including suggested actions and events, are available online at www.worldaidscampaign.org. More information about the National HIV/AIDS strategy is available online at www.AIDS.gov
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