Here's why we need to talk about World AIDS Day Lifestyle

Grant Boone
December 9, 2019

World Aids Day, which falls on 1 December, will have "Know your status" as the theme this year, encouraging people to get tested, raising awareness about the importance of knowing one's status and calling for the removal of all barriers to accessing HIV testing.

The TT Youth Convention stands ready to support the work of any organisation involved in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and the suppression of the stigma and discrimination associated with the virus.

World AIDS Day was founded by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter in 1987 and they agreed that the first observance should be on December 1.

The disease may be transmitted when the bodily fluids of a person with HIV enters the body of a person without HIV. Additionally, in developed parts of the world like the US medical advancements have contributed to a false sense of security causing younger generations to not take the necessary precautions in securing their sexual health.

In addition, Baeten says testing and treatment have to be available to everyone.

Activists blame widespread discrimination against LGBT+ people for an eight-fold rise in transmission among men having sex with men, to more than 1,000 cases annually. Increases in domestic and worldwide funding, cutting-edge research and evidence-informed programmes contributed to a 42% fall in deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in this region between 2010 and 2017, as well as a 30% drop in new HIV infections.

Mr Gray said interest around the virus waned around this time.

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More than half of respondents living with HIV reported negative or different treatment by health workers (52%).

"It meant that for a lot of people, the idea of HIV that they had from the 1980s and early 90s kept on going and they weren't sort of up to date for what it mean to have HIV now or what HIV prevention meant these days", Mr Gray said.

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. "To create the first AIDS-free generation, we have to scale up early infant diagnosis and link children to treatment, engage adolescents in care and prevention, and ensure that every pregnant and breastfeeding woman with HIV has access to services".

Mr Gray said people's perceptions around HIV and AIDS needs to be challenged.

We're also making a marked difference. People Living with HIV are based on a survey of 181 Australians living with HIV. The United Nations backed event is also used to remember those who have died of the disease.

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations' James Gray said the fight to end HIV and AIDS for good is still not over. Aids.ua web portal quotes the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, which points out that 'during the four months of 2018, 5,764 new cases of HIV infection were registered (783 of them are amongst children under 14 years old)'.

Darryl O'Donnell, CEO of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations said: "Advances in medicine, technology and health promotion have powered strong progress against HIV".

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