ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 1, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today issued the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day:
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for all of us to remember the millions of lives lost to and affected by HIV/AIDS. It is also an opportunity to strengthen our commitment to fight this disease, erase the stigma and educate one another about its effects, and honor all those working to find a cure.
“Here in Maryland, the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic is something that has hit us hard. And there’s no way to sugarcoat it: even though we’re ranked number 1 for the percentage of PhD’s, we are number 4 in terms of the rate of AIDS cases reported per year among our population. Since the beginning of this epidemic, we have lost 18,000 of our neighbors to this disease.
"While many of our neighbors are dealing with this tragic disease, Maryland is at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have the potential to be that force that unlocks in the words of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, ‘the weapons of mass salvation.’ Some of the key breakthroughs in the fight are happening right here in Maryland. We’re a long way from winning this fight, but we’re moving forward by harnessing the healing potential of our State’s greatest asset – and that is the talents, the creativity, and the imagination of one of the most diverse group of people that have ever come together around this challenge.”