40 Years Later: Vivent Health President and CEO Mike Gifford Speaks at the National AIDS Memorial Grove

Forty years ago, this June, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first five cases of a new and mysterious illness unlike anything ever seen before. Relentless in its spread, what would soon become known as AIDS was already well on its way to becoming a terrifying global pandemic of epic proportions. The loss is staggering when you look at the numbers —worldwide, more than 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illness, with more than 700,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.

We have all the tools we need to end the HIV pandemic, save a vaccine, and it’s entirely feasible we could vanquish it in our lifetime. What we need to ask ourselves is whether we have the political will and societal desire to do so. The answer, and the work ahead, lies in all of us.

Let us recommit, let our resilience be as strong as ever, let us remember those we have lost, and let us lift up and join all those who continue to fight on.

In honor of the 40th anniversary I was invited to give a national speech at the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco.  Please take a moment to learn more about the commitments we need to make in pursuit of our vision of a world without AIDS. #40YearsofHIV