World AIDS Day - December 1
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first every global health day (1988). The United Methodist Church has been a strong supporter of this special day and the UM Global AIDS Fund urges all congregations to commemorate World AIDS Day either on December 1 or some other day during the year. Congregations are also strongly encouraged to take an offering for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund on World AIDS Day to support the work that our churches and partners do to understand and combat this disease in communities around the world.
As of 2011, there were 34.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the world and two-thirds of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Half of all new cases of AIDS are women and more than 2 million children are living with HIV/AIDS. According to UNAIDS, in 2011 there were 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths.
In the United States, 1.2 million people are living with HIV. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2009, African Americans comprised 14% of the US population but accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections. Rates of HIV for African-American and Latina women are spiking in the United States.
The UMC Global AIDS Fund has raised close to $4 million for over 200 projects in 37 countries around the globe that are working to prevent the spread of AIDS and provide care for those who are infected and affected. World AIDS Day is an opportune time to lift up the work of the UMC Global AIDS Fund and urge United Methodists to support it financially.
This is an advance special in the UMC (#982345), and 25% of any contributions raised in local churches remain in the annual conference to support more local AIDS projects.
Learn more at: http://www.umglobalaidsfund.com/