Observe World AIDS Day
On December 1 each year, we commemorate World AIDS Day. We stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV. We also remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported. The red ribbon recognizes World AIDS Day.
The Commitment to End Aids – World AIDS Day
The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track. More than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment. Country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.
We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere. The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults. Young women are particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Individual Treatment Needs Must Be Met
We know that for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, the transition to adulthood is a particularly dangerous time. Young women are facing a triple threat. The first is a high risk of HIV infection. The second, low rates of HIV testing. And, third, poor adherence to HIV treatment. AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life.
Whatever our individual situation may be, we all need access to tools to protect us from HIV. We also need access to antiretroviral medicines should we need them. A life-cycle approach to HIV that finds solutions for everyone, at every stage of life, can address the complexities of HIV. Risks and challenges change as people go through life. It is important to highlight the need to adapt HIV prevention and treatment strategies from birth to old age.
The success we have achieved so far gives us hope for the future. Just as importantly, as we look ahead to the future, we must remember not to be complacent. We cannot stop now. This is the time to move forward together to ensure that all children start their lives free from HIV. And that young people and adults grow up and stay free from HIV. And, finally, that treatment becomes more accessible so that everyone stays AIDS-free.” -Michel Sidibé
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