World AIDS Day 2010 theme encourages living your rights

Red Ribbon

The red ribbon is an internationally recognized symbol of World AIDS Day. Image: Flickr / trygveu / CC-BY

World AIDS Day 2010, Dec. 1, is officially here. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is very simple — living your rights. This is one of the few years when World AIDS Day comes with a lot of hopeful news.

World AIDS Day 2010 theme

This year’s World AIDS Day, organized by the World AIDS Campaign, focuses on both rights and the promise of Universal Access. The tagline of World AIDS Day 2010 is “I am living my rights. Stop AIDS. Keep the promise.” Years ago, the World AIDS Campaign stated an ambition of “Universal Access by 2010.” The goal of this universal access ambition is “enabling everyone to have non-discriminatory and non-judgmental access to adequate HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.”

The status of AIDS on World AIDS Day 2010

AIDS or Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a disease caused by the HIV virus. AIDS grew to epidemic proportions by the 1980s. The UNAIDS report for World AIDS Day 2010 shows that infection rates overall are dropping. Though infection rates in 33 countries are dropping, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are seeing increasing infection rates. Though AIDS is a deadly disease, the life expectancy of an individual who is HIV-positive or has AIDS has been increasing.

Developments in AIDS prevention

AIDS treatment and prevention has seen several big developments just in time for World AIDS Day 2010. A new AIDS drug that may prevent HIV infections is being tested, though it is still facing many roadblocks. Truvada is being tested as a possible prevention pill, though it would require a daily dose. Perhaps the biggest news in AIDS prevention, though, is that the Pope has re-opened discussion of the use of condoms. The Humanae Vitae is a document written 42 years ago that called on Catholics to not use birth control, including condoms. Pope Benedict has re-opened the discussion by saying that the use of condoms may be allowable in order to prevent the spread of disease. In the difficult world of AIDS prevention, this change may well be a new step in the right direction – and just in time for World AIDS Day 2010.


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