World AIDS Day kicks off with theme "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
28 November 2005
Every year, people around the world designate 1 December, World AIDS Day, as a time of reflection – to remember the friends and loved ones lost to AIDS, to heed the lessons learned over the year, and to take stock of the progress made to provide a comprehensive response to the epidemic.
The Declaration of Commitment is, in effect, a blueprint for action. It includes not hypothetical goals but concrete benchmarks to measure progress on prevention, reducing stigma, building health infrastructure, ensuring treatment, and providing much-needed leadership and resources. While many countries have made their own commitments to fight AIDS, the Declaration was the first recognition of AIDS as a global crisis requiring a global and collective solution.
The Declaration will only be as powerful as its fulfilment. By sustaining a single theme over five years, the Campaign hopes it will attract others and create a movement that gives those working on the response a forum to be heard – and a platform to act.
This year's theme also asks every individual to make a personal promise to fight AIDS. Since the beginning of the epidemic, individual people have played heroic roles in helping and caring for people living with HIV and AIDS. In the early days, as governments and organizations dithered, individuals acted. The World AIDS Campaign's call to "Stop AIDS. Make the Promise" encourages everyone - everywhere - to be a part of the solution. Added together, these individual commitments will tell governments that all people care about AIDS, that they want to be part of an effective response to it, and that they are willing to make their own commitments to ending the epidemic. Individuals from all over the world are already meeting the individual commitment challenge: to prevent HIV, treat every person living with HIV/AIDS with respect and dignity, to support local programmes that provide care and treatment. World AIDS Day is the perfect time for each individual and group to recommit themselves to those ideals.
After two decades of living in a world with HIV, 1 December is a reminder that with sufficient will and resources, we have the power to stop the epidemic. What is needed – for each of the 40 million people living with the disease – is the involvement of people from every walk of life. Everyone can contribute, whether by making a promise to take action or by promoting the campaign with friends and colleagues. To make your promise and to learn more about the World AIDS Campaign and how people around the world are renewing their commitment to the fight on World AIDS Day, visit http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/.
World AIDS Campaign