GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – World AIDS Day is observed each year on December 1st. The theme is: “End inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on global leaders and citizens to rally to confront the inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), includes World AIDS Day as part of its calendar of annual observances.
The internationally observed day provides anopportunity to raise awareness, educate and improve a greater understanding of HIV as a global public health issue.
CPS is calling on members of the community to wear a red shirt/blouse from Wednesday up to and including Friday and light a candle to commemorate World AIDS Day.
At the end of 2020, approximately 38 million people globally were living with HIV, with 1.5 million newly infected that year, and approximately 680,000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global HIV Discrimination in the World of Work Survey.
Most people living with HIV lead long and healthy lives thanks to effective ways to manage the infection. However, people, particularly younger generations should be aware and obtain skills to access HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care, according to the WHO.
CPS encourages the community to educate and inform themselves about the latest developments related to AIDS and HIV. It is also important for the community to be supportive and not discriminate against persons living with HIV AIDS or any other diseases.