The World Health Organization reports that approximately 2.9 million people were newly infected with HIV/AIDS in 2010. Worldwide, that's 7,945 people infected PER DAY, over five people every MINUTE. In the U.S. someone becomes infected every nine minutes.

While we work hard to raise awareness, our work is far from over.

Today is the 25th annual World AIDS Day, where we take time to reflect on this epidemic, celebrate the courage of those who have fought the disease, honor those we've lost, and challenge ourselves to take the next steps to eradicate HIV and AIDS within our lifetime.

The Greater Community AIDS Project is hosting a Candlelight Vigil in West Side Park today at 4:30 p.m.. Sunset is at 4:27 p.m., which will make a beautiful backdrop for the candles and luminaries GCAP has for the event.

Candle lighting begins promptly at 4:30 p.m., followed by World AIDS Day proclamations from the cities of Urbana, Champaign, and Mattoon.

We have lost too many loved ones in Champaign-Urbana and beyond to HIV/AIDS. It's time we "get to zero."

Come light a candle, listen to a few speakers, and then enjoy your evening supporting local business in wonderful downtown Champaign.