WHY IS WORLD AIDS DAY SO IMPORTANT?
There are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year thousands of people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
When last did you get tested?
Getting tested for HIV should be part of your regular health check-up, and if you’re sexually active it is recommended that you get tested at least once a year. There are certain things that put you at a higher risk of contracting HIV, such as unprotected sex, sharing of needles, or being on medication that treats certain conditions such as hepatitis and tb. All of these require more regular testing.
Every year there is a theme for World AIDS Day. 2018 is the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day and the theme is “Know your status”. The campaign is about raising awareness about the importance of knowing one’s status and calling for the removal of all barriers to accessing HIV testing.
What if i am positive?
If your result is positive, it’s important not to panic. These days HIV is manageable, and many who are HIV-positive live normal, healthy, and productive lives.
Avacare supports the fight against HIV.