Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) joints the international community in commemorating the World AIDS Day which is held on the 1st of December every year since 1988. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by HIV and mourning those who have died of the disease.
World AIDS Day is celebrated by people to let all know about AIDS, it’s effects and prevention strategies.
This year’s theme recognizes the slogan “Everybody counts”. The World Health Organization (WHO) is advocating for access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines, diagnostics and other health commodities as well as health care services for all people in need, while also ensuring that they are protected against financial risks.
According to the World Health Organization survey, HIV continue to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. In 2016, 1.0 million people died from HIV-related causes globally.
54% of adults and 43% of children living with HIV are currently receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART). Global ART coverage for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV is high at 76%.
Africa is the most affected region with 25.6 million people living with HIV in 2016. The African region also accounts for almost two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections.
Key populations are groups who are at increased risk of HIV irrespective of epidemic type or local context. They include: men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people. In 2015, an estimated 44% of new infections occurred among key populations and their partners.
There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission. It is estimated that currently only 70% of people with HIV know their status. To reach the target of 90%, an additional 7.5 million people need to access HIV testing services. In mid-2017, 20.9 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally.
This year’s theme provides an opportunity for the Government of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders to advocate for the end of HIV/AIDS through media and news channels to spread the causes, effects and it’s prevention.
As the world is commemorating the World AIDS Day, CCDN is strongly advocating for an AIDS free community and educating the majority about the spread of the virus, its effects and how it can be prevented.
CCDN is calling upon men, women, churches, traditional leaders, government institutions and other civil society organizations to fight and end the spread of AIDS in communities and to educate and raise awareness about AIDS.