Many nations around the world took the time to commemorate World AIDS Day, usually observed on the first day of December of every year. World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme was “Communities make the difference”. World AIDS Day is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.
World AIDS Day was commemorated in Accra, Ghana, where Miss Stephanie Sullivan, US ambassador to Ghana, said that the US is committed to helping Ghana in the fight against HIV.
According to Stephanie, this disease is not a problem of an individual or a single nation but a global issue. Therefore, collective efforts are required to eliminate HIV.
She also highlighted that the US has invested $85M globally to help control HIV and reduce new infections. Additionally, the US has supported Ghana to fight against the deadly disease by investing $85M since 1990.
Mr. Ishmael Ashitey, the Regional Minister Accra stated that Ghana haS made notable progress in national HIV response, and commended The Ghana AIDS Commission and other partners for their strong effort towards universal health coverage.
Initiatives have included education for adolescents.
UNAIDS Country Director, Ghana, Ms. Angela Trenton-Mbonde, asked for game-changing actions such as medicine to prevent HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, viral load suppression, and education for people to support the cause.
UNAIDS.ORG released their “Global HIV & AIDS statistics — 2019 fact sheet” and here are some highlights:
- 37.9 million [32.7 million–44.0 million] people globally were living with HIV (end 2018).
- 1.7 million [1.4 million–2.3 million] people became newly infected with HIV (end 2018).
- 770 000 [570 000–1.1 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses (end 2018).
- 74.9 million [58.3 million–98.1 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic (end 2018).
- In 2018, there were 37.9 million [32.7 million–44.0 million] people living with HIV.
- 36.2 million [31.3 million–42.0 million] adults.
- 1.7 million [1.3 million–2.2 million] children (<15 years).
Simply follow the #worldaidsday on Twitter to check out the latest updates as this is not a one-day observance, but a daily fight against AIDS.