(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray marked the 24th annual World AIDS Day today by remembering the more than 11,000 District residents who have died of AIDS-related illness since the epidemic began three decades ago and looking to the future, as officials work to eradicate new HIV infections in the District.
“Every year on this day, I’m mindful of those – including personal friends of mine here in the District as well as untold millions around the world – whom we’ve lost to this cruel disease,” said Mayor Gray. “But I’m also mindful of the fact that we’re making real progress in reducing HIV infection rates, diagnosing new infections earlier and getting newly diagnosed people into treatment quickly.”
Mayor Gray offered his remarks at Whitman-Walker Health’s World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil in Dupont Circle. He noted that more than 14,000 District residents are currently infected with HIV – comprising 2.7 percent of the population, a level that the World Health Organization considers an epidemic. In addition, as many as 2-3 percent of the population may be infected, but not know of their status.