World Aids Day

Date: November 24, 2016
  • SHARE:

aids1 December

World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

Today the world commemorates AIDS Day. This comes barely six months after world leaders gathered in New York for a High Level meeting (HLM) on HIV where they committed to reinvigorate global action to counter the spread of the virus which has caused untold suffering.  This is especially important in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) which is home to over 15 million people living with HIV. This is 42% of all people in the world that are living with HIV.

We have a window of opportunity – will we all be bold enough to grasp that opportunity?  Can we afford not to?  We have come so far in the struggle against this terrible virus. We must therefore continue, even when doing so, demands that we confront our own prejudices. We must persevere until we are able to control HIV, to have zero discrimination, zero new infections and zero AIDS related deaths. Read more

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the updated SADC Protocol on Gender and Development aim to end both scourges by 2030.There is a growing body of research showing the nexus between GBV and HIV among the general population and key populations such as female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), drug addicts, migrants as well as prisoners among others. However, there is increasing evidence on the link between HIV and GBV particularly intimate partner violence. The vast majority of women diagnosed with HIV are said to have contracted the virus through heterosexual sex in intimate relationships.

Many countries in the SADC region do not know the magnitude of GBV in their countries, thus making it difficult for them to respond to this scourge. It can arguably be said GBV undermines the efforts being made to address the HIV epidemic. The VAW studies conducted by Gender Links in six SADC countries showed significant associations between experiencing intimate partner violence and having a HIV positive status. Different studies have found similar results in various settings.

Comment on World Aids Day

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *