Us Announces Aids Programs On Eve Of World Aids Day

12.01.09 | FL News Team

Today is World AIDS Day, held to highlight the continuing fight against a disease that's infected an estimated 33-million people around the planet and about a million in the U.S. On the eve of that event, the U.S. announced a new commitment to fight the disease. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. would host the 2012 biannual AIDS conference. She also confirmed the U.S. is getting set to lift a ban on visits by foreigners infected with HIV. That ban was put in place 22 years ago but Clinton says it will be ended January 4th and will be "vigorously" enforced. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls the ban "a policy that tore apart families, kept people from getting tested, forced others to hide their HIV status and forego lifesaving medication."

 The AIDS Memorial Quilt, which has been an ongoing project since its creation in 1987, will be displayed today in Little Rock, Arkansas at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The massive quilt is currently made up of more than 44-thousand individual three-by-six-foot memorial panels, most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. It was originally conceived as a project in San Francisco, which has lost more than one-thousand citizens to the disease. The quilt was displayed for the first time at the National Mall in Washington DC in late 1987. It's been on tour and, sadly, growing ever since.