World AIDS day observed on December 1

Desiree Burns
December 3, 2018

Health authorities in ME are encouraging people to use World AIDS Day to learn their status about the disease. For this, we need political will and investment, as well as novel and innovative approaches to HIV testing that are fully leveraged and taken to scale. The future success of the HIV response requires us to look beyond HIV care and empower better linkages with broader health care.

Over 30 years ago, in 1986, World Health Organization first evaluated rapid diagnostic tests for HIV.

- Nearly 22 million people were accessing antiretroviral drugs in 2017, compared with 8 million in 2010.

"World AIDS Day reminds us that despite these gains, 1 in 4 people with HIV in the Region still don't know they have it, have not begun treatment and are therefore at greater risk of dying prematurely and infecting others".

Sady, Ukraine remains one of the leaders for the number of people with "positive" AIDS status in Europe.

"There is a more than 30 per cent reduction in AIDS related deaths since 2010 and people living with HIV are living longer, healthier lives thanks to the sustained access to antiretroviral therapy".

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- An estimated 77 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic in 1981, including 1.8 million in 2017.

The Maine CDC says individuals who don't know their HIV status should get tested, and there are a number of facilities around Maine that provide that service.

Currently, one third of people with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean only get diagnosed after becoming ill and symptomatic, when their immunity has already been seriously compromised and after exposing their sexual partners to possible transmission of HIV.

She listed stigma and discrimination as factors still deterring people from taking an HIV test adding that access to confidential HIV testing was aslo an issue of concern. Sex workers and their clients, transgender women and people who inject themselves with drugs are also disproportionately affected by HIV.

Moeti said that as part of the new 5-year strategy for WHO, the organisation was working with Member States in the African region to strengthen their health systems and help them make progress towards universal health coverage.

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