World AIDS Day 2012: 10 Facts To Know, Ways To Help

Children walk with activists in a torch light rally ahead of World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The act
Children walk with activists in a torch light rally ahead of World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The activists demanded monthly pension and free ration facilities for sex workers and HIV/AIDS affected people. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

World AIDS Day, held each year to commemorate the millions of lives affected by the AIDS epidemic, has a new mission: “Getting to Zero” by 2015.

For a disease that has taken 25 million lives in the past three decades, this year’s campaign is pushing for an end to AIDS-related deaths, new infections and discrimination, according to the campaign’s official statement.

Remarkable strides have been made in the fields of prevention and research.

In the past two years, the number of people with access to antiretroviral medication increased by 63 percent. In the past decade, there has been a 50 percent drop in new HIV infections across 25 countries, according to the UNAIDS World Aids Day Report. In the U.S., several nonprofit organizations have sought measures to prevent and eradicate the disease.

These organizations are working to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide:

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria The Global Fund fights these three diseases, among others. The fund has provided 3.3 million people with antiretroviral treatment, treated and detected 8.6 million cases of infectious tuberculosis and provided 230 million insecticide-treated nets to protect susceptible populations from Malaria. Donations accepted here.

World Vision Help prevent mother-to-child transmission of AIDS. HIV-positive moms have a 1 in 3 chance of infecting their kids. World Vision provides HIV testing, medical care, prenatal and postnatal care, counseling and support for local clinics. Donations accepted here.

CARE As part of its mission to help communities overcome poverty, CARE works to find ways to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. In addition, the organization finds solutions to social and economic problems that are related to the HIV/AIDS crisis. CARE especially works to protect the rights and provide opportunities for vulnerable survivors such as widows and orphans. Donations accepted here.

Gay Men's Health Crisis GMHC seeks to find solutions that spread awareness, improve care and reduce stigma. The organization provides medical treatment and counseling, as well as provides a sense of community. Donations accepted here.

Below are facts that shed light on the AIDS epidemic.

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