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Recognition of World AIDS Day: A Tribute to Kentucky Representative Tom Burch

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Today (December 01, 2010) is World AIDS Day, first established in 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the United Nations Global Program on AIDS at the United Nations World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

United Nations World AIDS Day is held yearly on December 1st.

AIDS killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 according to United Nations World Health Organization estimates, and it is estimated that 33.2 million people live with the disease worldwide, including 330,000 children.  In total, the United Nations estimates that 60 million people have been infected, leaving 14 million orphaned children.

AIDS stigma still exists around the world in a variety of ways, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination and avoidance of HIV infected people.

Today however we pay tribute to Senior Representative Tom Burch, who has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky since 1972; Representative Burch sponsored or co-sponsored most of the Commonwealth's HIV/AIDS awareness, education, and prevention legislation in the 1980's and 1990's.

We personally thank Representative Burch for this dedication to public health, and for sponsoring and/or co-sponsoring HIV/AIDS legislation.  Additionally, we recognize the education and prevention legislation passed saved thousands of lives!

Furthermore, we request the Commonwealth officially recognize December 1st of each year as HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Day across the Commonwealth in coordination with the United Nations World Health Organization and the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 

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