World AIDS Day 2011 theme “Getting to Zero” is the theme selected by the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) to observe this year’s World AIDS Day on 1st December. The new theme, that will be used until 2015, echoes the UNAIDS vision of achieving “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths”.
Each year’s World AIDS Day theme is chosen by the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee after extensive consultation with people, organizations and government agencies involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The theme from 2011-2015, will bring into line with the UNAIDS approach for this period: “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths”.
The choice to prefer “Getting to Zero” as the theme came after widespread consultations among people living with HIV, health activists and civil society organizations.
The World AIDS Campaign focus on “Zero AIDS related deaths” in 2011 signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all; a call for governments to act now. It is a call to honor promises like the Abuja declaration and for African governments to at least hit targets for domestic spending on health and HIV.
Giving regions, countries and constituencies the latitude to focus on one or all of the Zeros that is most relevant to their context was central to the WAC’s decision, an approach fully supported by UNAIDS. “Getting to Zero is the overall agenda for responding to HIV in the next five years, but the priority may be zero discrimination in some parts of the world and zero AIDS related deaths in some other parts it’s important to keep this connection with the local realities”.
World AIDS Day on December 1
World AIDS Day on December 1 each year is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS deadly disease caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official announcement on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most critical epidemics in recorded history. In spite of recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.