On December 1, we stand with the world in honoring World AIDS Day with the theme: “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.” According to the most recent UNAIDS report, we've seen an "unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response” with a more than 50-percent reduction in the rate of new HIV infections across 25 countries. THP empowers village partners to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS through training workshops, increased access to health care, anitretroviral treatments and more.
The Hunger Project is in a unique position to make a difference. We have experience in mobilizing the courageous grassroots-level leadership willing and able to confront the gender issues fueling the spread of the disease. We then connect these rural leaders with local and national governments and other partner organizations to implement life-saving HIV/AIDS programs.
When The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso worked with partner organizations to organize two days of free medical consultation for community members, over 1,000 people were educated on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Since The Hunger Project-Uganda launched its highly successful HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Campaign in 2003, over 93,000 partners have participated in the workshops. Efforts continue to reach new audiences for increased awareness throughout the country.
Elizabeth Godia is a 35-year-old widow and one of The Hunger Project's partners in Malawi who is living with HIV and took part in the Microfinance Program. Elizabeth is now independently able to provide for her six children.
We have reason to celebrate. The most recent UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic reports that new HIV infections have fallen by over 20 percent in the past 10 years. Yet, there are still two new HIV infections for every one person beginning HIV treatment, and last year, 2.6 million people were newly infected. We must continue to forge ahead.
On December 1, 2009, The Hunger Project-Uganda commemorated World AIDS Day at the Kiboga District's main playground. Over 500 people participated in the event, and the Kiboga Resident District Commissioner was the guest of honor.
World AIDS Day 2009 is being commemorated under the theme of "Universal Access and Human Rights." The Hunger Project's integrated development approach, which includes our response to HIV/AIDS, is based on a fundamental regard for human rights. To date, 880,000 people have taken our HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop.