Statement by Dr. Jane Aronson, founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans Foundation:
On World AIDS Day, observed Dec. 1, we remember the millions of precious children who have been orphaned by the devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic and who are living with this disease on a daily basis. We also celebrate the significant progress to combat AIDS. Today, lives have been saved and fewer children have become infected with HIV due largely to successful prevention efforts and a dramatic expansion of access to antiretroviral drugs. Yet these gains remain fragile as U.S. and international AIDS programs face major threats to cuts in their programming. Smart investments are still needed to ensure that any progress achieved to date is not reversed.
Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) has been a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. WWO was the first nongovernmental organization to offer antiretrovial drugs specifically for orphans in Ethiopia and Vietnam. And we continue to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and care to orphans and vulnerable children in impoverished communities, as well as adult family members living with HIV/AIDS.
We need to fight hard to prevent, test and treat HIV/AIDS. Bold action is required to beat this pandemic. We can and must do more.