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World AIDS Day 2000: A Message from President Bill Clinton

December 1, 2000

The White House
Washington
World AIDS Day, 2000


Greetings to all those observing the 13th annual World AIDS Day. On this occasion each year, we join with all countries of the world to focus global attention on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the lives of those affected by this devastating disease.

While we have come a long way in the struggle to overcome the personal, social, and economic impact of this epidemic, the battle is far from over. Last year, 2.8 million deaths from HIV/AIDS were recorded -- the highest global total since the epidemic began. In the United States alone, we have an unacceptably high number of new HIV infections every year. Every hour in our nation, two new cases of HIV are reported in young people under the age of 25. Racial and ethnic minority communities, women, and youth are being particularly hard hit.

HIV has reached catastrophic proportions in some areas of the globe and is about to explode in others. AIDS threatens the economies of the poorest countries, the stability of friendly nations, and the future of fragile democracies. We do not live in isolation from our global neighbors, and it is imperative that the United States join together with all nations to mobilize a greatly expanded world response to stem the rising tide of this disease. We must also continue our efforts to make care and treatment, including drugs -- which are increasing the life span and improving the quality of life of many infected with HIV -- accessible to all who need them.

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This year's World AIDS Day theme, "All Men -- Make a Difference!" focuses on men's ability -- and responsibility -- to exert a powerful influence in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. It calls on all men around the world to embrace a new leadership role not only in prevention, but also in the care of their children and other loved ones whose lives are affected by AIDS.

As we observe World AIDS Day 2000, our task must be to work in cooperation and solidarity here in the United States and with our neighbors around the world to stop the spread of this devastating disease. The Future of the world's children depends on our ability to achieve this goal together.

-- Bill Clinton





  
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This article was provided by American Association for World Health. It is a part of the publication AIDS: All Men -- Make a Difference!.
 

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