Remember World Aids Day

2016-11-30 06:00
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WORLD Aids Day, celebrated on 1 December every year, gives the community an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have passed away as a result of HIV.

The slogan for World Aids Day 2016 is “It is in our hands to end HIV and TB”. This year’s World Aids Day in South Africa will be a chance to reflect on what has been achieved with the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STIs and TB, 2012 to 2016, which is coming to an end and map a way forward for the next period of 1 April, 2017 to 31 March, 2022.

HIV, one of the most severe diseases globally, claimed the lives of 1.1 million people worldwide in 2015 alone. Tuberculosis is the main cause of death among HIV-infected people, accounting for around one in three Aids-related deaths.

South Africa is one of the recipients of Global Fund against Aids, TB and Malaria (GFATM) which was established in 2002. Wealthy nations and businesses contribute to The Global Fund.

The funds are used for HIV and Aids, TB and malaria initiatives in developing nations.

As from June global statistics­ indicated that 36.7 million people are living with HIV, but only 18.2 million have accessed the antiretroviral treatment. However, this was a 2.4 million patient increase from the same time last year.

South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world and therefore the largest antiretroviral therapy programmes globally, which are mainly funded by internal financial efforts. All programmes are kept in line with World Health Organisation guidelines, which introduced the “test and treat” approach.

In 2015 the worldwide count for new infections of HIV was 2.1 million people. The NSP is the strategic guide for the country’s comprehensive response to HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections. The development of the new NSP, which will be launched on 24 March, 2017, World TB Day, is focused on the efforts of individuals.

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