Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009

World AIDS Day 2009

Today marks the 21st anniversary for World AIDS Day.

First the sobering news. The United Nations estimates that approximately 33.4 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2008. That number includes over 2 million children and 2.7 million who were infected just last year.

In the United States, the government estimates that 56,300 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year, and that approximately 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV/AIDS. The especially sobering news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 21% of HIV-positive individuals don't even know they are infected. That can translate into potential transmission of the disease without anyone knowing it.

That's why World AIDS Day is so vitally important. While just one solitary day of the year, it provides a necessary focus on the devastating impact that the disease can have. It also raises awareness for what individuals can and should being doing to protect themselves, while also seeking to ensure the dignity of those already affected.

Need some good news? The rate of infections is down by 17% over just the last eight years. Also, particularly heartening is that those living with HIV/AIDS are no longer suffering an automatic death sentence from the disease; more and more around the world have greater hope via continually improving medical treatments.

So what does this have to do with Broadway?

First, as an all-too-real human drama that is playing out, not only on the Great White Way, but throughout the world around us, we can't afford not to care.

Second, the lights of Broadway will be dimmed this evening at 8 p.m. to commemorate the day and raise further awareness.

Finally, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is in the midst of one of its annual giving campaigns. If you've been to a Broadway show in recent weeks, you'll likely have heard from the stage about this great organization's continuing efforts.

Even if you're nowhere near Broadway, please consider giving to this industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization by clicking here to make a donation.

Here's to your good health and all the best for your loved ones. Thank you for your support.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission regulations (FTC) that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value in exchange for promotional consideration, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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