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The concept of a World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it has been taken up by governments, international organizations and charities around the world. This year’s theme is “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise—Leadership”

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu released this statement for this year:”We are well into the third decade of a scourge that has expanded exponentially beyond a small specific group to almost every corner of the globe. Whilst in some areas, incidence may have turned, prevalence continues to rise and will do so for a long time- more young people will be infected, more orphans will occur.

“Yet, today still 70% of infected people don’t have access to life saving therapies. Many still face stigma, economic deprivation and rejection because of their infection. Many still don’t have access to basic information or simple interventions that will reduce risk. This is not the time for complacency nor apathy. It is the time for compassionate leadership that recognises that the voiceless are often those who suffer most- who can they turn to if their leaders do not listen and heed their cries.”

It is a good day to donate to this year’s Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraiser if you have not done so already.

Lastly, I wanted to feature a powerful Elton John song from 1992 called “The Last Song.” Sadly this scene still plays out far too often.