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20th World AIDS Day marked worldwide

Tue 2 Dec 2008 In: International News View at Wayback

As well as across New Zealand, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day was marked around the globe. World AIDS Day protest: Marchers in Haiti (pic: AP) Worldwide, a total of 33 million people are living with HIV, including 2.7 million new cases in 2007. Vigils, free HIV testing, education progammes and fundraisers happened across the United States, where the number of people with HIV/AIDS now stands at 1.1 million. A monument opened at New York's Hudson River Park to remember the over 81,000 New Yorkers lost to AIDS. In Washington, the White House announced that the Bush administration had already met its goal of treating two million people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world by the end 2008. Canada's young people were mobilised to become peer educators in the country's One Million Red Ribbons project, the brainchild of an 18-year-old who started the movement after he was shocked at the number of people at his high school with incorrect information on HIV. China's Ministry of health released figures showing the number of gay men who are HIV-positive has risen sharply in the last three years, and vowed to address the epidemic with education strategies. A World AIDS Day event in Haiti on Sunday featured over 500 people, many of them openly-gay, and is being called the Caribbean nation's first gay march. Organizers said they hoped the protest march will break barriers to reach more HIV-positive people and gay men with sexual health programmes. "They suffer double the stigma and double the discrimination," explained activist Esther Boucicault Stanislas, known as the first person in the country to publicly 'out' herself as HIV-positive after her husband died of AIDS in the early 1990s. A video message from UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot appears below.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 2nd December 2008 - 3:35pm

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