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Health And Wash

World AIDS Day - Think Positive: Rethink HIV

by Helen Pincher, Aid & International Development Forum

  •  December 01, 2015
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On December 1st 2015, the National Aids Trust (NAT) will be challenging people to rethink myths and stereotypes around HIV with their ‘Think Positive: Rethink HIV’ Campaign on World AIDS Day. They are trying to highlight the developments in understanding what AIDs and HIV is and how it can be treated.

HIV can only be passed on through unprotected sex (95% of cases), sharing needles or mother to child transmission. People living with HIV who get effective treatment can expect to live a normal life. Only 0.5% of HIV Positive mothers pass it on to their children and if you are on effective HIV Treatment you are non-infectious. In the UK only 0.3% of people with HIV develop Aids however even then they can revert back to only having HIV.

World AIDS day has taken place on December 1st every year since 1988 using the red ribbon to draw attention to the HIV epidemic. The day is a great opportunity to not only raise awareness but show solidarity and celebrate the improvements in health and survival. This year is aiming to think more positive and in a new way about HIV. Previous themes have been ‘getting to zero’ and ‘closing the gap’ promoting testing and understanding of the disease.

The number of new HIV infections has declined globally by 21 percent since the estimated peak of the epidemic in 1997 however there are still nearly 37 million people living with HIV. An estimated 2 million people were newly infected in 2014. In some parts of the world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, between 15-28% of the population are living with HIV. 95% of new HIV cases in 2012 were in low and middle income countries. SSA now accounts for almost 70 percent of the global total of new HIV infections.

The Aid and International Development Forum is holding a panel on HIV and AIDS Response in the Post-2015 Development Agenda​ focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa at the upcoming AIDF Africa Summit 2016. The panel will speak on new rapid testing solution, improving access to HIV/AIDs prevention and scaling up HIV prevention and care. Peter Mwargo from FHI 360, Miriam Maluwa from UNAIDS and Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Ethiopia are invited to join the panel to share their views. To find out more about the AIDF Africa Summit, or how you can participate, visit the website: http://africa.aidforum.org 

There are many local events happening in the UK (http://www.worldaidsday.org/events) and around the world you can share a tweet (http://www.worldaidsday.org/campaign/rethink-hiv) to show you support for those living with HIV and AIDS. 

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