December 1, 2020: AIDS Day

WHEREAS, HIV/AIDS continues to be a major public health issue, with approximately 38 million people across the globe living with HIV/AIDS and an estimated 1.7 million individuals having newly acquired HIV in 2019; and,


WHEREAS, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide in 2019; and, 


WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.2 million individuals in the United States are living with HIV today, and there are a number of health disparities related to HIV infection and those with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with a disproportionate risk of infection for gay and bisexual men, Black and Latinx individuals, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and younger age groups; and,


WHEREAS, HIV/AIDS is now considered a manageable chronic condition rather than a fatal diagnosis, thanks to antiviral therapy, new laboratory and epidemiological techniques that allow identification of where HIV infections are spreading most rapidly, and improvements to health care resources that stop the further spread of new infections; and,


WHEREAS, despite scientific advances made in HIV treatment and prevention, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe service programs, progress on the prevention of HIV transmission remains far too slow, especially in communities of color, with the estimated total number of new infections in 2019 more than three times higher than the 2020 target of UNAID, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; and,

WHEREAS, as the first ever global health day, World AIDS Day has been promoted every year worldwide since 1988 to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, as well as to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness; and,


WHEREAS, we must continue our efforts to work toward the goal of more effectively diagnosing, treating, and caring for individuals living with HIV and ensure all people have access to HIV prevention services, voluntary HIV testing, affordable treatment, and high-quality care and support services; we must also work toward reducing HIV stigma, which can create barriers to treatment and prevention; and,


WHEREAS, this year’s theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact,” and, on this day, we can show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV across our state, nation, and the world and raise awareness of this major public health issue by wearing a red ribbon or a red colored shirt;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2020, as AIDS Day in Michigan.