The World Aids Day, that commemorates the victims of HIV and help demolish stigmatisation against those affected by this virus, is also an occasion to reflect about what can still be done to reduce the risks of transmission and help HIV carriers re-integrate into society.
According to a report by UNICEF, great progress has been made to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Since 2005, about 850,000 infants have been saved from HIV. However, there were approximately 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV in 2012.
The Hunger Project claims that “There is still an alarming number of people, 35.3 million, living with HIV.”
This means that we need to do more.
Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
Treatments must be accessible to everyone all across the globe; schools must educate people on the risks of contracting HIV and how these could be avoided. Informative campaigns must be increased to make people aware on the importance to get themselves tested regularly. Early diagnosis could save thousands of lives. According to the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Philippe Douste-Blazy: ”With new evidence that early treatment not only improves health but also prevents new infections, the world now has the tools at hand to turn the tide against HIV. We must use them.”
End of stigmatisation is another key point to defeat HIV.
Anil Valiv has massively contributed to help HIV carriers in India to lead a normal life. It was 2006 when Mr Valiv came up with the great idea to found PositiveSaathi.com, a free matrimonial website to help people affected by HIV meet and get married and, consequently, avoid isolation.
“Ten years ago it was extremely difficult for a HIV positive person to speak openly about his/her problem. Stigma and discrimination persists and we wanted to bring a change in the their lives,” says Valiv.
The keys to defeat the plague of HIV are numerous: acceptance and tolerance are probably the most important ones. HIV carriers can lead a normal life as we do, they can still work, socialise, get married, hope, dream. Let’s not treat them as dregs of society.
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