December 1, 1988 was declared as the first ‘World AIDS Day’. The objective is to raise money and awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. World AIDS Day is important to remind people that HIV has not disappeared, and there is still much to do.
The theme of World AIDS Day 2011 is “Getting to Zero.” After 30 years, the global fight against HIV / AIDS this year sees the global community committing itself to focus on achieving three objectives between now and 2015:
“Zero new HIV infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths”,
The United Nations said in a new report that a major expansion of access to treatment has reduced the number of AIDS deaths in 2010, the number of people living with HIV in a record 34 million.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin on Monday Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, declared progress in treatment was a “game-changer.”
2011 will be remembered as the year that a Global Plan to eradicate HIV and AIDS infections in mothers and children was launched by a number of players including UNAIDS (joint United Nations programme on HIV / AIDS and PEPFAR (the US Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Investment amounting to $150 million has been added to the already US$300 million annual fund provided by PEPFAR. The investment has been made by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($40 million), Chevron ($20 million) and Johnson & Johnson ($15 million). These amounts equalled that of US$75 million, additionally pledged by PEPFAR.
“14.7 million – that is the number which reflects the amount of South Africans who have made use of the opportunity to voluntarily test their HIV Status. This information was shared with journalists by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini Cape Town last week. Encouraged by the target of almost 15 million tests being reached, there is still some cause for concern based on the ratio of only 30 % of the volunteers being male. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi echoed the sentiments that the “30 % point difference is too much.” Read the rest of this entry »