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MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

December 1 is World AIDS Day. As we enter the third decade of fighting HIV/AIDS, the news is troubling. An estimated 36 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. In 2000, approximately 8,000 people, worldwide, died of HIV/AIDS every day. Worldwide in the same year, young people under the age of 25 represented half of all new HIV infection cases,and every minute, five young people were infected with HIV.

In the past 20 years, AIDS has claimed the lives of nearly 22 million people. If current projections are accurate, the number of deaths caused by AIDS in the next 10 years will be greater that the combined fatalities in all wars of the 20th century.

However, there are signs of hope. We know that education can stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. We know that when people are tested and receive appropriate treatment, their long-term health and well-being is enhanced. New drug therapies are making it possible for many to enjoy long and productive lives. With the leadership of President Bush, we have launched a worldwide trust fund to address the devastating impact of this disease in developing countries. At the same time, we will continue our commitment to the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS at home.

Please help us fight the fear, denial, and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. This year's World AIDS Day theme is I Care...Do You? Youth and AIDS in the 21st Century. For more information on HIV/AIDS, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-2437.

TOMMY G. THOMPSON

Click on the following links for information related to HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day:

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day Resource Booklet
(Click on the World AIDS Day booklet.)

HIV/AIDS Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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