With songs, stars and prayers, Americans recognized World AIDS Day as a time to focus on a cure, on making treatment more available around the world, and on remembering the millions who have already died.
- In New York City, the HIV-positive Sinikithemba Choir, composed of HIV-positive South Africans, raised their voices in Zulu and English songs in a Harlem church. "Most South Africans don't get tested because they know there's no cure, and they cannot get the drug treatment because it is too expensive," said Mimi Badumuti, 32.
- In Lincoln, Neb., Irish rocker Bono kicked off a tour with Ashley Judd by speaking to about 2,300 people about the AIDS crisis in Africa. During his seven-day tour, Bono will urge Americans to call on the U.S. government to forgive the debts of African nations and provide more funds to fight AIDS in Africa. "It's not about charity. It's about justice and equality," Bono told the Nebraska crowd.
- In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, about 250 people gathered at the National AIDS Memorial Grove to remember those who have died from the disease and hear messages of hope for a cure. "I came today to remember," said Hank Donat, 36, a San Francisco writer. "The gay community in San Francisco was devastated in the early years. We'll never be able to know the full breadth of the loss to our culture. But we feel it, we measure it in our hearts."
- President George W. Bush, in his World AIDS Day proclamation, praised groups that are working to combat AIDS and help the people who suffer from it, and noted that his administration is seeking increases in spending for domestic and international AIDS programs. "By working together, we can provide hope and comfort to all those affected by this devastating disease," Bush said.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.