World AIDS Day, designated on December 1st of every year is dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness creation and education on AIDS prevention and control.
The Theme of this year’s campaign is “Right to health” and the World Health Organization (WHO) is highlighting the need for universal health coverage for the 36.7 million people living with HIV worldwide as well as other vulnerable people.
The #WorldAIDSday is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization.
According to the United Nations (UN), HIV infected about 1.8 million people in 2016 and 19.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy as of 2016. By June 2017, about 20.9 million people were receiving the life-saving medicines, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).
Strong will and the 90-90-90 goals to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2020 is inspiriting efforts with the global average currently at 70-77-82. This means that 70% of people living with HIV know their status, 77% are receiving life-saving medicines and 82% of those receiving the medicines have achieved suppression of the virus.
The Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) has been committed to reducing the HIV burden in Nigeria in order to build healthier future.
From January to September 2017, ARFH, through the Global Fund HIV grant supported Community Systems Strengthening Project has referred 129,548 pregnant women and 77,582 others in the general population to get tested for HIV.
The Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) project is focused on demand generation for HIV counseling and testing services.
Most of the sustainable development goals are linked to health, including ending AIDS, therefore ensuring that quality healthcare is available and accessible to all will improve livelihoods.
This World AIDS Day 2017, ARFH is renewing its commitment to improve livelihoods of underprivileged communities by stepping up efforts with its projects related to prevention and control of communicable diseases such as HIV as well as improvement of reproductive and maternal health and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus.