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World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December each year, is an important opportunity for national AIDS programmes, faith organisations, community organisations, individuals and governments around the world to focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic and to emphasise the critical need for a committed, meaningful and sustained response at all levels.
The global theme for 2009 and 2010 World AIDS Day is 'Universal Access and Human Rights', as chosen by The World AIDS Campaign.
This theme encourages us to deepen understanding, develop partnerships and challenge discriminatory laws, policies and practices that stand in the way of access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Faith-based organisations have a special responsibility to work to promote human dignity and respect, and to protect the human rights of people living with or affected by HIV and those who are vulnerable to infection, points out the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance - which has a special focus on HIV-AIDS.
The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is an international network of churches and church-related organisations committed to campaigning together on common concerns. Current campaigns focus on food as well as HIV and AIDS.
Alliance members represent tens of millions of Christians around the world who share the conviction that advocacy against unjust structures, practices and attitudes should not be a task we engage in when it is convenient, but must be a fundamental requirement of living out our faith.
The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance includes large international organisations such as Caritas Internationalis, World YWCA and Lutheran World Federation, as well as large and small national organisations including Madras Christian Council of Social Services (India), Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Tearfund (United Kingdom), Presbyterian World Service and Development (Canada).
EAA's practical and liturgical resources for church and faith groups marking World AIDS Day can be found here http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/m/hivaids/resources/ and here http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/m/hivaids/world-aids-day/Tweet