My November 30 isn’t really done yet. Haven’t been to bed. It was a good day and I’d love to document it here on the blog. Before I do though, I’d like to draw attention to an important message.
Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day.
- Worldwide, 2.5 million [2.2 million–2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV
25 countries have seen a 50% or greater drop in new HIV infections since 2001.
- Half of all reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among
newborn children––showing that elimination of new infections in children is possible.
- In 2011, 1.7 million [1.5 million–1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related causes
worldwide—24% fewer deaths than in 2005.
- In 2011, more than 8 million people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy.
- However, 7 million people eligible for HIV treatment still do not have access.
– 72% of children living with HIV who are eligible for treatment do not have access.
- Of the 54% of people with access to antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income
countries, 68% were women.
- Women account for 58% of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
- In 26 of 31 countries with generalized epidemics, less than 50% of young women have
comprehensive and correct knowledge about HIV.
- Nearly 5 million people were living with HIV in South, South-East and East Asia
combined in 2011.
- In South and South-East Asia, new HIV infections declined from 370 000 in 2001 to 280 000 in 2011.
- In 2011, about 250 000 people died of AIDS-related causes in this sub-region compared to 290 000 in 2005.
- Country-level progress in reducing new HIV infections varies throughout the Asia
Pacific region. For example:
– In Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Thailand,
the rate of new HIV infections fell by more than 25% between 2001 and 2011.
– In Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the rate of new HIV
infections increased by more than 25% between 2001 and 2011.
HIV epidemics in Asia and the Pacific remain largely concentrated among injecting
drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers.
In many countries, stigma and discrimination impeded effective HIV responses
Specific to the Philippines, according to this article from Rappler.com:
There’s a 300% increase in the number of (HIV) cases in the last five years and a 25% increase from the last year alone.
In 2000, there was a new report of HIV every three days. Today, one Filipino acquires HIV every 2 hours.
Experts believe that the number of undiagnosed cases is high because of the stigma associated with HIV testing.
AIDS is a preventable disease. Education and access to appropriate health care is key.
I am appalled that while the global trend shows a decrease in new HIV cases, our country reports an increase. We can still change this trend. Let’s start by educating ourselves, and spreading the word. The Philippine National AIDS Council has this page on HIV and AIDS 101. We can also support various charities and NGOs that work in this field.
One of the global campaigns is (RED). Wherever you see this logo, it means that the manufacturer of that product sends a contribution directly to the Global Fund (against AIDS) and 100% of that money is used to finance HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. If you’re buying an iPod Touch this Christmas, choose the (RED) one. And the (RED) cover for your new iPad Mini or iPad 3 or 4.
As for local NGOs, you may reach out to Lunduyan Foundation via their Facebook page. I’ve worked with them in the past they are very active in the child rights movement, including HIV/AIDS prevention.