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Friday, November 30, 2012

World AIDS Day 2012:Getting to Zero

Tomorrow on World Aids Day, it is important to realize that despite achievements in both education and treatment, the world is still suffering from a global AIDS epidemic  

Yes, the number of HIV/AIDS cases around the world has finally stabilized

But, more than a million people a year are still getting the disease.

And, nine million victims of AIDS still don't have access to life-saving medication that would prevent them from dying. 

Also, let's not forget  that scientists still haven't found a cure for AIDS. 

So, we can't afford to sit around feeling complacent. Not only do we need to keep informing ourselves, we need to spread that information to the millions who are still unaware of some of the basic facts about AIDS. It is also time for us to DO something - whether it be learning  the facts, or by  getting more involved. in the AIDS movement. 

"Oh, we won't get AIDS "

As I was sitting in my Vancouver kitchen listening to the radio today, I heard  something that truly shocked me.  An interviewer was talking to a group of young people about AIDS and how they felt about it. 

The kids answered, " Oh we don't really have to be careful.  It could never happen to us."

"Why is that?" asked the interviewer.

:" We're not gay. Only gay people get AIDS." 

I had to laugh. Had these kids never noticed what was happening in Africa, Asia, and other countries around the world?

Had they not read stories about women and children here in Canada and the U.S. who were suffering from AIDS?

Had they completely ignored their school counsellors, and the pamphlets and warnings which are regularly given to young people - especially young people in high school. . 

This year's poster by a Canadian AIDS organization truly does say it all. 26 % of Canadians who have HIV AIDS don't even know it.

If you take those statistics and apply them to every country in the world, imagine what those numbers would be.  

Getting to Zero

30 years ago, the world acted to fight against HIV/AIDS. Extraordinary action generated around the world has saved millions of lives and brought hope to millions more. But, there is still a lot to be done.
  The World Health Organization has determined that the theme for World Aids Day from 2011 to 2015 is "Getting to zero by 2015: Zero new HIV infections,  Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths".

The focus on  zero new HIV infections and zero discrimination means placing an even greater focus on education.  The  focus on "Zero AIDS related deaths"  means pushing for much more access to antiretroviral medication for AIDS victims in Africa, India and Asia and a call for governments to act now.

WHO Video: Helping to get 15 million people onto antiretroviral treatment by 2015

A newly released United Nations World Aids Day Day report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)  shows that a renewed commitment to dealing with the worldwide AIDS epidemic  is producing results.

United Nations Aids Report Findings:  

Declining new HIV infections in children
The area where perhaps most progress is being made is in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children.

Fewer AIDS-related deaths
The report shows that antiretroviral therapy has emerged as a powerful force for saving lives. In the last 24 months the number of people accessing treatment has increased by 63% globally.

More investments
The report shows that countries are increasing investments in the AIDS response despite a difficult economic climate. The global gap in resources needed annually by 2015 is now at 30%. In 2011, US$ 16.8 billion was available and the need for 2015 is between US$ 22-24 billion.

WHO Video: Helping to get 15 million people onto antiretroviral treatment by 2015 

 The 10 goals for 2015
  • Sexual transmission of HIV reduced by half, including among young people, men who have sex with men and transmission in the context of sex work. 

  • Vertical transmission of HIV eliminated and AIDS-related maternal deaths reduced by half;
  •  All new HIV infections prevented among people who use drugs;
  •  Universal access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV who are eligible for treatment;
  •  TB deaths among people living with HIV reduced by half;
  •  All people living with HIV and households affected by HIV are addressed in all national social protection strategies and have access to essential care and support;
  • Countries with punitive laws and practices around HIV transmission, sex work, drug use or homosexuality that block effective responses reduced by half;
  •  HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence eliminated in half of the countries that have such restrictions;
  • HIV-specific needs of women and girls are addressed in at least half of all national HIV responses;
  •  Zero tolerance for gender-based violence.
How much do YOU know about HIV/AIDS?
Go to the following websites to see if you can answer these questions. 

Comprehension Questions

1.     What is HIV? What is AIDS? 
2.     What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?  
3.     How can a person get HIV or AIDS?
4.     Who can get HIV or AIDS?
5.    Where does HIV/AIDS come from?  What caused it?
6.    How can people avoid getting HIV or AIDS?
7,    Why do experts stay that a person can have HIV or AIDS and not know it?
8.    What are the symptoms of HIV or AIDS?
9.    What are the treatments for HIV/AIDS
10   What countries in the world have the highest incidence of HIV / AIDS? Why?
11.  What countries in the world have the highest death rates due to AIDS? Why? 


Watch the following video and answer the questions below


1.   What was responsible for saving man's and his wife's life? 
2.   Why the man mean when  he says "I did more than just survive?" 
3.   Why was the young girl born HIV free? 
4.   How did people discriminate against the man and his family? 
5.   Why do millions of people have a better chance of surviving today? 
6.  What is preventing people in the
7.  Lists all the benefits of AIDS treatments  the man spoke about.   

Listen, do the exercise and and sing along  

525,600 Minutes with Lyrics

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