World AIDS Day 2010: Universal Access and Human Rights

Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, recognizing these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved. Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services.

The protection of human rights is fundamental to combating the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Violations against human rights fuel the spread of HIV, putting marginalized groups, such as injecting drug users and sex workers, at a higher risk of HIV infection. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us – individuals, communities and political leaders – to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care are met. For more, visit AVERT’s website.

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A Prayer for World AIDS Day 2010                        By Louis F. Kavar

“Creator God, source of our lives, we have been touched by the impact of HIV/AIDS.  Some of us live with infection in our bodies; some of us have watched those closest to us suffer and die; some of us wonder how much closer HIV will come to us, confused by the problems of adequate treatment for people we love.

Source of all life, be present with us now. Be our strength on this World AIDS Day. Open our eyes to see that your compassion is renewed each morning. Open our ears to hear your words of hope for us. Open our hearts that we may find strength in connection with others throughout the world who work to provide care and treatment to those living with HIV.  Enable us to share this compassion, this hope, this commitment with others we meet so that all people of the world would be treated with respect and reverence as reflections of your life.  For this and for so much more we pray. Amen.”

© 2010, emerging by Lou Kavar, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.

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