A video from the Jubilee Project for World AIDS Day:
Reduced stigma and access to antiretrovirals and social support have changed the landscape around HIV/AIDS significantly in the past decade. A UNAIDS report released in mid-November notes that new HIV infections globally have decreased by almost 20 percent since 2000, and AIDS-related deaths have decreased by about 17 percent. Yet, more people than ever live with the disease, and an estimated 2 million people will die as a result of HIV/AIDS this year – roughly 4 people each minute, every day.
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As part of the effort to fight these dire numbers, organizations, supporters, and persons affected by HIV around the globe have recognized World AIDS Day each December 1 since 1987. The day offers a chance to reflect, grieve, and most importantly renew the commitment to eradicating a horrific disease.
For over two decades Partners In Health (PIH) has offered medical care, education, and psychosocial support to communities afflicted by HIV/AIDS. This past year, more than 16,000 Haitians living with HIV/AIDS received regular care at a PIH clinic. In Rwanda, nearly 75,000 patients were tested for HIV, and roughly 5,500 people living with HIV received antiretroviral treatment. In Lesotho, PIH ensured that over 200 HIV-positive women were able to deliver and feed their newborns without transmitting the virus, breaking a cycle of disease in an impoverished country. In addition to increasing access to HIV/AIDS services, PIH is committed expanding access to comprehensive health care in resource-poor countries like Haiti and Rwanda, as well as for HIV patients in the U.S.
Yet, while much has been accomplished in the last 25 years, too many people living with HIV still lack access to life-saving medicines, health care, and other basic services. UNAIDS estimates that about 5.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs. In addition, approximately 33.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and that an estimated 2.6 million more people will be infected before we recognize World AIDS Day again next year.
This needn’t be the case. We can demand funding increases for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other global health issues and ensure the rights of those already living with the disease are met.
Join people around the globe in commemorating the World AIDS Day by visiting the website of the World AIDS Campaign for a list of activities and ideas.
Learn more about PIH’s work in HIV/AIDS prevention and care.