World AIDS Day is held on December 1 every year to show support for those living with HIV, commemorate the estimated 35 million who have died from HIV or AIDS and unite in the global fight against the disease.

During my many years as a diplomat, I saw firsthand how the power of collective action can be extraordinarily important in shaping momentous changes. A few examples include: the creation of the PEPFAR program to combat HIV/AIDS, the accelerated response to terrorism following the East African embassy bombings, effective international coordination to tackle the SARS and avian flu threats, and the constructive collaboration between the United States and Vietnam on the issue of Agent Orange.

Last year, the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations pledged help control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

This article was originally posted on the DSW Blog.

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