World AIDS Day - December 1

December 1, 2008, 12:24 PM EST


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December 1, 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. The day was created in 1988 at the World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes in London, England, which brought together health ministers and delegates from 148 different countries.  

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is Stop AIDS. Keep the promise -lead, empower, deliver -emphasizing that world leaders must now deliver on the commitments they've made to stopping the AIDS pandemic.

Across the globe, an estimated 25 million people have died from AIDS between 1981 and 2007, with approximately 33 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).  

In Canada, approximately 2,600 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2006 while Health Canada estimates that up to 4,500 people become infected with HIV each year. Approximately 60,160 people across the country are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

During the 2008 World AIDS Conference in Mexico City, participants from around the world pledged to take action to stop AIDS. Watch these pledges here: http://www.youtube.com/worldaidscampaign

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