The United Nations has established “Let Communities Lead” as the theme for this year’s World AIDS Day, highlighting the crucial role of community leadership despite challenges like funding issues, capacity limits and pressures on civil society that impede progress in ending AIDS.
Dec. 1 is recognized as “World AIDS Day” to support those with HIV and remember those lost to AIDS.
HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), makes the immune system weaker by destroying cells involved in the body’s defense against infections and other harmful invaders.
As a result of a weak immune system, severe infections and even cancer may emerge.
Early detection is crucial to prevent transmission to healthy individuals and manage the patient’s condition.
‘Let Communities Lead’
In a statement released, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said that AIDS can be eradicated under community leadership, emphasizing that communities affected by HIV and AIDS are at the forefront of the battle against these health issues.
UNAIDS also highlighted that effective management of these services and continuous monitoring policies for AIDS and HIV prevention will connect individuals through human-centred health services eff.
The statement said that if obstacles faced by communities providing these services are removed, organizations managed by communities will play a more critical role in HIV and AIDS prevention efforts.
It stressed communities’ importance in addressing health issues despite disruptions in HIV and AIDS prevention efforts caused by such obstacles.
The statement stressed the importance of removing obstacles that hinder community leadership in HIV and AIDS efforts, saying there is a need to protect human rights, especially for marginalized communities.
9.2 million People Worldwide Without Access To Effective Treatments
UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said 9.2 million people across the world are living with HIV and do not have access to effective treatments.
He then suggested that AIDS could cease to be a threat to human health by 2030.
“To end AIDS, the path forward involves following the leadership of communities.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Jul. 13 in a report, also revealed that HIV is behind 40.4 million deaths, adding that in 2022 alone, 630,000 people lost their lives due to disease and related complications.
At the end of 2022, the data released show that 39 million people worldwide have HIV, with two-thirds of the million people living in sub-Saharan African countries and Algeria.
The WHO and UNAIDS have interim targets of 95% of the people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 95% of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment, and 95% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads—by 2025.
The WHO also announced that a World AIDS Day event will be held on Dec. 1 in Geneva to raise awareness.