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For Aid for Africa Members, Every Day is World AIDS Day

Two-thirds of the people in the world living with HIV and AIDS are in Sub Saharan Africa.  In its 2009 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS found that more than 22 million people in the region have HIV/AIDS.  In 2008, 1.4 million people in the region died of AIDS and almost 2 million became infected with HIV. Compounding the high rates of disease in many areas are inadequate health care systems–poor countries have few health centers, hospitals or health care workers, and so struggle to provide critical care and treatment.

The numbers can be overwhelming, and yet valuable progress is being made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services. The theme of this, the 21st World AIDS Day, is Universal Access and Human Rights. While most Aid for Africa charities confront the realities of HIV/AIDS everyday as they work with their African partners throughout the continent, we would like to call attention to a few that are even more specifically focused on increasing access to services, providing effective treatment options and preserving human dignity, a vital component of combating the spread of the epidemic.

Health Alliance International works in partnership with ministries of health to build their health systems, including HIV/AIDS testing and treatment projects in Mozambique, where antiretroviral therapy has increased from just 4,000 in 2004 to 80,000 today.  African Solutions to African Problems supports community-based programs and women’s networks to help them better deliver life-affirming care for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Partners in Health has proved that AIDS can be treated in a poverty setting through its effective model of community-based care now being used in Rwanda, Lesotho, and Malawi. African Child Care Association provides HIV/AIDS prevention training to teens in Cameroon.  Mothers2mothers is helping some 50,000 women a month prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS throughout Africa.  AID Village Clinics helps educate, prevent, and treat the Maasai of western Kenya affected by HIV/AIDS.  Firelight Foundation supports and advocates for children orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS. Children of Uganda cares for AIDS orphans and other disadvantaged children in Uganda with the goal of helping them become healthy and productive members of society. South Africa Partners creates partnerships between organizations in the United States and South Africa for HIV/AIDS support groups. Foundation for Hospices in Sub Saharan Africa supports African organizations that provide home-based hospice and palliative care to those who are dying of HIV/AIDS. World Hope International provides HIV/AIDS prevention and orphan care.

On World AIDS day, we applaud all who are supporting efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and treat and care for those living with HIV and AIDS.