WORLD AIDS DAY is celebrated around the globe <3

 

World Aids Day

 


 

Worldwide, 1 December 2012

 

United Nations officials are marking World AIDS Day with a call for building on recent successes and pressing ahead to get to zero – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths – by 2015.

 
World AIDS Day is celebrated around the world on December 1st each year. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services. UNAIDS took the lead on campaigning for World AIDS Day from its creation until 2004.

From 2004 onward, the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee began selecting a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with civil society, organisations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response. Themes run for one or two years and are not just specific to World AIDS Day. Campaigning slogans such as ‘Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise’ have been used year-round to hold governments accountable for their HIV and AIDS related commitments.

 

Background

World AIDS Day has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

UNAIDS took the lead on campaigning for World AIDS Day from its creation until 2004. From 2004 onwards the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee began selecting a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with civil society, organisations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response.

Themes run for one or two years and are not just specific to World AIDS Day. Campaigning slogans such as ‘Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise’ have been used year-round to hold governments accountable for their HIV and AIDS related commitments.

 

Message by UN Women Executive Michelle Bachelet for the occasion of World AIDS Day

Message by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, on the occasion of World AIDS Day. 1 December 2012.

The dramatic drop in new HIV infections announced by UNAIDS is a message of hope as we commemorate World AIDS Day. Given the decline in new infections and AIDS-related deaths, we have reason to celebrate.

Thanks to sustained global efforts to prevent transmission from mother to child, more pregnant women are receiving treatment and far fewer babies are born with HIV. This is great news.

Now we must build on this success to make sure that all women get the information, services and support they need to stay healthy throughout their lifetimes. In 2011, only 30 per cent of eligible pregnant women received anti-retroviral therapy for their own health.

Of the 30.7 million adults living with HIV, 54 percent or some 16.7 million are women, an increase of nearly four percent since 2010. Special attention is needed for young women, aged 15 to 24, who continue to have HIV infection rates twice as high as young men.

This situation is especially urgent in sub-Saharan Africa, the epicenter of the epidemic, where women constitute 58 percent of people living with HIV and only one female condom is available for every 10 women aged 15 to 49.

This World Aids Day, as we celebrate progress in the fight against AIDS, let us renew efforts to protect women’s rights, including reproductive rights and the right to live free of violence and discrimination. Action to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment brings us closer to zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Together, we can get to zero.

 

 

Many people all over the world use the occasion of World AIDS Day (WAD), 1 December, to raise awareness about the disease and reflect on progress in the response. The theme for this WAD, and all others until 2015, is Getting to Zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

In the lead up to World AIDS Day 2012, UNAIDS hosted its first Google+ Hangout with three passionate advocates in the global HIV response. The topic? Ending new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive.
 

 

Speakers included Annie Lennox, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, and Florence Ngobeni-Allen, Ambassador with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). The Hangout was moderated by Mahesh Mahalingam of UNAIDS in Geneva.

 
A new World AIDS Day report: Results, by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), shows that in 25 countries, most of them in Africa, new infections have dropped by more than 50% since 2001. In the words of the UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibé, “we are moving from despair to hope” that an AIDS-free World is possible.

This success is the result of technological advances, increased access to treatment, and a reduction in stigma and discrimination. Education is central to these efforts. Education is the foundation for the success of all HIV programming. It is only through comprehensive HIV education that young people can learn about HIV risk in their context and develop the skills to understand, access, and use the HIV programs that can protect them all their lives. UNESCO seeks to promote, develop and support comprehensive education sector responses to HIV and AIDS by building country capacity, advancing gender equality and protecting human rights.

This December UNESCO will be conducting activities globally in observance of WAD. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia there will be an online prevention campaign that will reach two million young people. In Latin America there will be joint activities to provide tools and resources to governments for national action. There will be a march in Dakar, Senegal to raise awareness and support for UN staff living with HIV.

In Cameroon, the UNESCO office is organizing an HIV week that includes workshops for teachers and learners and an HIV testing campaign in all Yaoundé schools. In Beijing, a documentary on sexuality education including gender and HIV will be launched. In Thailand, UNESCO is supporting the Day of Sexual Diversity Rights; the Organization will also join the UN exhibition booth at a major World AIDS Day Event in Bangkok organized by the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

This World AIDS Day UNESCO is taking time to reflect on progress made in reducing new infections and promoting the critical role of education in all aspects of the HIV response. As Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, states in her Message on the occasion of this year’s World AIDS Day: “Progress must strengthen our determination to create a world free of AIDS. HIV and AIDS can be conquered through renewed commitment and sustained solidarity. For this, we need to use every resource as best we can and draw on all available evidence.”
 

 

 

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