Light for Rights: World AIDS Day 2009

November 23, 2009— An international campaign to spotlight World AIDS Day, December 1, has been organized by a partnership among amfAR, UNAIDS, the World AIDS Campaign, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The Light for Rights campaign urges all of us to “keep the light on HIV and human rights,” and involves the dimming of public lights, followed by their return to full brightness.

In New York City’s Washington Square Park, dignitaries and speakers including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, actress and UNAIDS goodwill ambassador Naomi Watts, and other special guests will watch as the floodlights illuminating the Washington Square Arch are extinguished and then restored. As part of the event, the marquee lights of major Broadway theaters will also be dimmed.

amfAR and its partner organizations have created a special World AIDS Day website ( that provides facts about HIV/AIDS, descriptions of Light for Rights activities can be organized in other locations, social networking ideas, and templates for op-eds and letters to the editor.

Since HIV/AIDS was first reported almost three decades ago, the virus has decimated populations around the globe and results in approximately 2 million deaths each year.

In 2008, the last year for which figures are available, 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV, 40 percent of whom were young people between the ages of 15 and 24. The number of new infections continues to outpace the number of people receiving treatment.


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