Modal close

Hi there!

Did you know that you can get our headlines, stories and web exclusives delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

World AIDS Day: Death Toll Mounting, As Vatican Reaffirms Opposition to Condom Use

Default content image
Media Options

Today is Worlds AIDS day and twenty years into the global epidemic, the toll of death and dying is numbing. In 20 years, more than 21 million people have died. This year alone, 3 million have already died.

Today, activists around the world are demanding that drug companies and governments do more to staunch the spread of this disease. While the crisis in Asia deepens, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst hit region. One in ten South Africans is infected HIV/AIDS. Many developing countries are forced to devote an ever larger share of their limited resources to trying to prevent further infections. But public information campaigns and public health programs are only beginning to address the devastation.

The only hope for the 36 million people currently living with AIDS are sophisticated and expensive drugs now controlled by a few large pharmaceutical companies. But as some outraged activists are making clear, the companies that own the patents are fighting tooth and nail to keep developing countries from purchasing cheap generic forms of the life-prolonging drugs.

Yesterday, ACT UP in Philadelphia was one of a large number of community groups that came together at the corporate headquarters of Smith Kline Beecham. They were protesting corporate policies that sentence millions to drastically shortened lives.


  • Julie Davids, member of ACT UP.
  • Bertil Lindblad, Senior Liaison for UNAIDS in New York City. He joins us from the United Nations, where hundreds of people from around the world have gathered today to talk about AIDS prevention.

Related Story

Video squareStoryApr 24, 2018The Untold Story of How Fidel Castro’s Love Affair with ABC Journalist Altered U.S.-Cuban Relations
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop