1st December 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the theme for 2018 being, “Know your status”.
Instigated by the United Nations in December 1988, December 1st has been set aside as an International Day dedicated to raising awareness for the AIDS pandemic spread by HIV infection with focus on education on AIDS prevention and control.
As of 2017, AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Thanks to recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the death rate from AIDS epidemic has decreased since its peak in 2005 (1 million in 2016, compared to 1.9 million in 2005).
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day
Whilst commendable progress has been made in the research and battle against AIDS, there are many living at large unaware of their status. The emphasis and advice that a simple test be made, to know one’s status. If positive, then care is required as a matter of urgency. Once treatment is received, then HIV positive people will be able to protect their loved ones and still live healthily with a decent quality of life.
Read Saidy Brown’s story, of a 23 year old woman living with HIV.
“These days, I talk about HIV – a lot. I am doing it for all the Aids orphans, who are ashamed to talk about what happened to their parents. I am doing it for people who feel like prisoners in their own bodies. I am doing it for everyone who was disowned by their families and shunned by communities. I am doing it for people who are constantly being shamed for living with HIV. I am doing it for my late parents. I am doing it for 14-year-old Saidy Brown.’
Help raise awareness, wear your red ribbon as a global symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. Do not wait to get ill. Self-testing or a test at a community clinic is a simple exercise for peace of mind and longevity.