WHEREAS, starting in 1988 and recognized annually on December 1st, World AIDS Day is a global event to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to honor and support those living with and affected by HIV; and
WHEREAS, in 2023, we mark the 35th commemoration of this important day with the theme “World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit.” This annual event serves as a reminder of the struggle to end HIV-related stigma, an opportunity to remember and honor those we have lost, and a reminder to commit to working toward a day when HIV is no longer a public health threat; and
WHEREAS, in the United States, approximately 1.2 million people are living with HIV today and more than 39 million people are living with the disease worldwide; and
WHEREAS, in Alaska, 2,156 cases of HIV/AIDS have been confirmed since reporting began in 1982 through 2022; of these, 756 are known to have died; and
WHEREAS, over the last three decades, HIV has become a treatable disease through advancements in medications that allow Alaskans living with HIV to achieve an undetectable viral load, meaning they can no longer transmit HIV sexually, and medications that prevent Alaskans from acquiring HIV when taken daily; and
WHEREAS, we appreciate the dedicated work of medical, philanthropic, faith-based, and community organizations that work to increase access to HIV prevention and care services for all Alaskans and that further work to provide support for people living with HIV; and
WHEREAS, through remembrance, we draw strength and determination to intensify our efforts in combating HIV/AIDS and providing support to those living with the disease though compassion, empathy, and solidarity.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2023 as:
HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
in Alaska, encourage all Alaskans to take part in activities and observances designed to increase awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS as a global challenge; to take part in HIV/AIDS prevention activities and programs; to join the global effort to prevent further spread of HIV/AIDS; and to offer compassion and support to those who are affected, their loved ones, and to their health care providers.
Dated: December 1, 2023