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Director’s Note from Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., Director, HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy: As we prepare for the annual observance of World AIDS Day, we welcome this message from Ambassador Birx sharing this year’s theme. As she notes, we now have the unprecedented opportunity to change the course of the pandemic. This brings with it the obligation to ensure that our resources are being used in the most efficient and effective ways and are having the greatest possible impact. Accountability and transparency are essential aspects of this. If results are not what we need them to be, we must take action to improve them. The best way to honor people living with HIV and those we’ve lost is to achieve the greatest possible impact in all the work that we do to end the epidemic.
Every year, the global community commemorates World AIDS Day on December 1. It is a time to honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS, communicate our ongoing commitment to assist those who are living with or at risk for HIV, and celebrate the caregivers, families, friends, and communities that support them.
I am proud to announce the theme for World AIDS Day 2017: Increasing Impact Through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.
This theme reflects the United States government’s longstanding leadership in addressing HIV/AIDS both at home and abroad and how we are increasing our impact to move epidemics from crisis toward control. It also highlights the historic opportunity we have to accelerate progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in the United States and around the world. Finally, it emphasizes the critical role of transparency, accountability, and partnerships in reaching our collective goals.
We are at an unprecedented moment in the HIV/AIDS response. For the first time in modern history, today we have the tools to change the very course of a pandemic by controlling it without a vaccine or a cure. Controlling the epidemic would lay the groundwork for preventing, eliminating, or eradicating it, which we hope will be possible through continued and future scientific breakthroughs for an effective HIV vaccine and cure.
The U.S. government’s leadership and commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS are a direct reflection of the goodwill, compassion, and generosity of the American people and are enhanced by our collaboration with partners from all sectors.
We hope that you will join us from wherever you are around the globe and in whatever role you play in your organization, community, or neighborhood to raise awareness and show how you are taking action.
For everything World AIDS Day, follow PEPFAR.gov and HIV.gov, and use the hashtag #WAD2017 on social media.