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World AIDS Day 2009: Universal Access and Human Rights

WAD2009 Today is December1, World AIDS Day. It's estimated that 33 million people are living with AIDS. Some have not been tested and don't know know they are infected while others, especially in developing countries, don't have access to life-saving treatment.

Far too many people around the world are still dying from HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS can be treated and prevented. Know your HIV/AIDS status. Get tested.

From Avert.org:

HIV is a virus that damages human immune cells. It weakens the immune system and, without treatment, leads most infected people to develop AIDS.2688

Like all viruses, HIV infects the cells of a living organism in order to make new copies of itself. HIV can only be transmitted in certain ways and the purpose of this page is to explain how you can and can’t become infected.

HIV is found in blood and other body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids. It cannot live for long outside the body, so to be infected with HIV you need to allow some body fluid from an infected person to get inside your body. The virus can enter the body via contact with the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.

The most common ways that people become infected with HIV are:

  • having sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
  • injecting drugs using a needle or syringe that has been used by someone who is infected.
  • as a baby of an infected mother, during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through breastfeeding.


Treatment costs around 40 cents a day.

The results are nothing short of miraculous.

Someone on death's door can be brought back to life. In as little as 90 days.

This transformation is called the Lazarus Effect.

A new documentary called The Lazarus Effect, will be coming this Spring to HBO. Click here to find out more.


Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.