Thursday, December 01, 2022

World AIDS Day 2022

World AIDS Day commemorated on 1 December is the annual day used since it was founded in 1988 to promote information regarding the decease among the locals. It is a chance for people all over the world to come together in the battle against HIV, to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness. Globally, an estimated 38.4 million people are living with HIV. In 2021, an estimated 1.5 million people acquired HIV and around 650 000 people died from AIDS-related causes.

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is Equalize. According to the world health Organisation, as HIV continues to affect millions of people worldwide, the global HIV response is in danger. There has been a slowdown in progress toward HIV goals over the last few years, and resources have shrunk, putting millions of lives at risk.

UNICEF is warning that progress in HIV prevention and treatment for children, adolescents and pregnant women has slowed down over the past three years. In 2021, around 110,000 children and adolescents (0-19 years) died from AIDs-related causes.

HIV is a virus that targets a person’s immune system and gradually prevents it from being able to protect your body from infections. HIV is reportedly transmitted through unprotected sex, sharing of infected needles or other sharp instruments, the transmission of infected blood, and from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

HIV has become a manageable chronic health condition with effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, despite no cure. WHO stated that people still need to be reminded if people with HIV are not treated they start developing signs of AIDS that can lead to an early death (3 years).

During the covid 19 lockdown HIV prevention, testing and treatment all took a blow due as the coronavirus pandemic was taken as a priority. This resulted in a halt to all progress against the HIV pandemic, resources have shrunk and millions of lives are at risk as a result.

To curb the increase is HIV persons, the Western Cape hosted a provincial symposium involving key stakeholders to find solutions related to HIV from district healthcare, science, civil society, youth and community, and funding as the different stakeholders work towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030

Western Cape’s Health & Wellness MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, encouraged citizens to use condoms to prevent transmission by reducing the risk of exposure to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) during sex.  

Western Cape Spokesperson on Health in the Western Cape Legislature,  Wendy Kaizer-Philander, said that between the financial years of 2017/18 and 2021/22: While HIV positive tests fell from 47 397 to 23 301, fewer tests have been taken;

Persons starting ART’s fell from 45 491 to 24 230, with those remaining on ARTs falling from 3 571 to 2 454; and

Total condoms distributed decreased from 117 018 900 to 65 155 252.

The city of Cape town stated that between April and October this year, 13 478 patients have had assisted HIV self-screening at City Health facilities, returning a positivity rate of 2,3%.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia Van der Ross said HIV self-screening is now available at 38 City Health facilities, with nearly 15 000 people already opting for the assisted self-screening.; 1st December is the day used every year since it was founded in 1988 to promote information regarding the decease among the locals. It is a chance for people all over the world to come together in the battle against HIV, to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness. Globally, an estimated 38.4 million people are living with HIV. In 2021, an estimated 1.5 million people acquired HIV and around 650 000 people died from AIDS-related causes.

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is Equalize. According to the world health Organisation, as HIV continues to affect millions of people worldwide, the global HIV response is in danger. There has been a slowdown in progress toward HIV goals over the last few years, and resources have shrunk, putting millions of lives at risk.

UNICEF is warning that progress in HIV prevention and treatment for children, adolescents and pregnant women has slowed down over the past three years. In 2021, around 110,000 children and adolescents (0-19 years) died from AIDs-related causes.

HIV is a virus that targets a person’s immune system and gradually prevents it from being able to protect your body from infections. HIV is reportedly transmitted through unprotected sex, sharing of infected needles or other sharp instruments, the transmission of infected blood, and from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

HIV has become a manageable chronic health condition with effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, despite no cure. WHO stated that people still need to be reminded if people with HIV are not treated they start developing signs of AIDS that can lead to an early death (3 years).

During the covid 19 lockdown HIV prevention, testing and treatment all took a blow due as the coronavirus pandemic was taken as a priority. This resulted in a halt to all progress against the HIV pandemic, resources have shrunk and millions of lives are at risk as a result.

To curb the increase is HIV persons, the Western Cape hosted a provincial symposium involving key stakeholders to find solutions related to HIV from district healthcare, science, civil society, youth and community, and funding as the different stakeholders work towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030

Western Cape’s Health & Wellness MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, encouraged citizens to use condoms to prevent transmission by reducing the risk of exposure to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) during sex.  

Western Cape Spokesperson on Health in the Western Cape Legislature,  Wendy Kaizer-Philander, said that between the financial years of 2017/18 and 2021/22: While HIV positive tests fell from 47 397 to 23 301, fewer tests have been taken;

Persons starting ART’s fell from 45 491 to 24 230, with those remaining on ARTs falling from 3 571 to 2 454; and

Total condoms distributed decreased from 117 018 900 to 65 155 252.

The city of Cape town stated that between April and October this year, 13 478 patients have had assisted HIV self-screening at City Health facilities, returning a positivity rate of 2,3%.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia Van der Ross said HIV self-screening is now available at 38 City Health facilities, with nearly 15 000 people already opting for the assisted self-screening.

PICTURE: UNAIDS


by Everngelista Muza

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