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- World AIDS Day 2007: AIDS at 26, are we there yet?

The theme of this 20th World AIDS Day is "leadership". This is a day to consider how we can exercise leadership on new innovations and vision. With increased globalization, today's world is much different from what it was 26 years ago; and very likely, the world will be further different in 26 more years. Several respected sources have projected that by 2040 China will have overtaken the United States to become the world's largest economy with India capturing third place. Official AIDS statistics in 2005 place China's HIV-cases at 650,000. With her population of 1.3 billion people, China's future HIV numbers will surely rise [7]. Nevertheless, the good news is that China's economy is robust and has amassed an estimated foreign reserve of over 1.4 trillion US dollars. In the near future, one could expect China to begin contributing to economic leadership in the global fight against AIDS. Perhaps 2008, the year of the 29th Olympic games to be held in Beijing, would present an excellent time for China's initiative in the service of global human health.

Today is also a day for the AIDS/HIV medical and research communities to reflect on new ideas, new targets [8] and to call on fresh voices. One senior researcher commented recently that he has been going to major HIV meetings for the last fifteen years and have heard over that period largely the same voices speak about AIDS vaccines. On World AIDS Day 2007, let's mark the progress already accomplished, persevere in good research while seeking new approaches from unheard voices. AIDS at 26, are we there yet? Not quite.

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