Champions of Change, by David Ernesto Munar
Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
I am honored that the White House chose to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with me and other openly HIV-positive organizers from across the country. We gathered recently with federal officials to reflect on the salient lessons learned and milestones marked in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the past three decades.
Reflecting on this solemn occasion stirs a mix of emotions.
In 30 years, HIV has caused tremendous loss and human suffering in every corner of the inhabited world. But it has also inspired heroic acts of kindness, generosity, and leadership. Looking back, we must laud the significant medical, political, and scientific advances achieved but also sustain a firm understanding of the unfinished work that lies ahead. With record numbers of people living with HIV and increasing numbers of new infections, we must reinvigorate efforts to provide people with and at risk for HIV/AIDS with the health and social services, housing, prevention, and human-rights protections they so desperately need and deserve. HIV knows no borders and neither should our compassion and actions.
Recognizing the rapid maturity of HIV medical, behavioral and social sciences, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers HIV a winnable battle. To truly win the future, the U.S. must not relent until we’ve won the fight against HIV/AIDS.
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