World AIDS Day will be recognized on Thursday, December 1. This observance marks the day when people from different countries, cities, and towns unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and observe the countless lives lost to AIDS. The day gives people the opportunity to commemorate the accomplishments and achievements that have been reached so far in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It also is a reminder to researchers, advocates, and affected and infected individuals the work that remains to be done.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as of 2009 the number of people living with HIV reached 33.3 million globally. The numbers of people newly infected with HIV was 2.6 million. AIDS-related deaths reached 1.8 million people.
Maine is not immune to the epidemic; as the end of 2010, there were 1,563 people living with diagnosed HIV in Maine, with 59 cases diagnosed in 2010 alone.