(TriceEdneyWire.com)—“Let us also continue to ensure that our Nation responds aggressively and humanely to the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS. Throughout this epidemic, community organizations have taken the lead in the struggle against the disease and in efforts to provide compassionate care to those in need. Across this country and around the globe, generous people perform miracles every day—holding a hand, cooling a fever, listening, and understanding. Let us further support their efforts to build a better world by strengthening the partnership between communities and government in the work to stop AIDS.”—President William J. Clinton, proclaiming the first U.S. recognition of World AIDS Day.
In the United States, HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—affects African Americans more than any other group. According to the Centers for Disease Control, African American account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS, compared to other groups. In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, African Americans accounted for 45 percent of HIV diagnoses, while comprising only 12 percent of the US population.
World AIDS Day, which occurs each December 1, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Since 2009, the National Urban League has partnered with the CDC to prevent HIV and AIDS and raise awareness—first, through the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative and more recently as part of Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT).