Global Ceremonies Mark World AIDS Day
December 2, 2005
World leaders, advocates and HIV-positive people marked World AIDS Day by calling for "far stronger" action to fight the pandemic, Reuters reports (Wulfhorst, Reuters, 12/1). In Cambodia, the government distributed free condoms and cell phone games to raise awareness. In Russia, advocates marching in Moscow said that stigma has hampered prevention efforts and helped the disease spread in the country. In India, students in the city of Agartala dressed as skeletons bearing messages to fight the pandemic. Members of the Belarussian Youth Union in Minsk, Belarus, formed the word "AIDS" with candles (Guardian, 12/2). World AIDS Day ceremonies in Swaziland -- where an estimated 38% of adults are HIV-positive -- were canceled by the king because they conflicted with a traditional ceremony. However, in nearby Lesotho, King Letsie III called on all citizens of the country "to know their status so that they can be able to manage their lives and receive treatment" (Diouf, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/2). AIDS advocates in Buenos Aires, Argentina, decorated the city's famous obelisk with an enormous pink condom to highlight condoms as a method of HIV prevention. Speaking in Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI said that prevention policies promoting abstinence and marriage are showing results "in several regions of Africa" (Reuters, 12/1).
A kaisernetwork.org HealthCast of a World AIDS Day 2005 Observance held at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City is available online. Actors Julia Ormond and Rosie Perez and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Mpule Kwelagobe co-hosted the event.
Additional resources on HIV/AIDS, including several new and updated resources, are available online from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
World AIDS Day Interfaith Prayer Breakfast to Feature Sandra L. Thurman and Other Local Prominent Leaders
World AIDS Day Promotes Message of Accountability, Urges International Community to Fulfill Commitments to HIV/AIDS Fight