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Today is World AIDS day.

December 1, 2009

Previously, I’ve written about howAIDS is the number one killer of women, and that we have a responsibility to act. Recently, I’ve found a new resource on how macroeconomic policy could play a role in empowering women living with AIDS:

Well today is World AIDS Day, and Amplify your Voice is launching a campaign, focusing particularly on youth. Some key facts they focus on:

*Worldwide, almost half of all new infections occur in young people under age 25.
*The rate of new infections for young men of color who have sex with men has doubled since 2001.
*Of the 11.8 million HIV-infected youth worldwide, over seven million are female.
*Less than one-third of young people worldwide know how to protect themselves from HIV.

The campaign includes a blog-a-thon, ideas for on campus tabling, and lots of resources. One of the things I found most interesting was their state report cards, where you can look up how your state falls in terms of sexual education, poverty, and infection. Their focus is on a petition to President Obama to refocus PEPFAR’s policies and programs. You can view it here. The highlights:

We, the undersigned, hope that your administration will embrace these policy and program priorities to ensure young people are equipped with the information and tools to prevent transmission of HIV and to lead healthy, productive lives.

1. Fund Evidence-Based, Comprehensive Prevention for Adolescents and Youth
2. Involve Young People Living with HIV in the Policy Decisions that Affect their Lives
3. Integrate Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS-Related Services for Young People

SIGNING THE PETITION is important, but I also encourage us to get creative to figure out ways we can influence U.S. policy towards HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment worldwide as well as reduce stigmatization in our own communities. I already brainstormed having an I am HIV-Positive campaign, but I am sure there is so much more we can do!

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