The past decade has seen encouraging gains on the journey toward a world without AIDS. Between 2010 and 2015, annual AIDS-related deaths decreased from 2.2 million to 2.1 million. Worldwide, new HIV infections have fallen by 6% since 2010.
But the decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled. Worldwide, an estimated 1.9 million adults have become infected with HIV every year for the past five years and the number of new HIV infections is rising in some regions. Efforts must be strengthened if the world is to stay on the fast-track to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada is actively working with partners around the world to foster a world without AIDS by helping people fight against stigma and discrimination, providing access to counselling and HIV testing, and teaching and equipping people to prevent its spread. Care is provided to people living with the disease, as well as support to orphans and vulnerable children.
In Malawi, Shadreck was afraid to disclose his diagnosis to his family so he tried to take his medication in secret. In his efforts, Shadreck ended up missing doses allowing his health to deteriorate quickly. Desperate for guidance, he joined an HIV support group run by PWS&D partners. There, Shadreck met others in his same situation who encouraged him to be open about his condition. Now with the support of his wife, Shadreck is hopeful. “I can take my pills without stigma,” he shares. “I have my health back. I thank God for saving my life.”
Together, we are working towards a world where there are no new cases of HIV, where mothers don’t worry about transmitting the disease to their children, and access to prevention options is available for all. We are living in hope of the time when no more people die of AIDS.
This World AIDS Day, we continue to live in Christ’s hope. As we reflect on the challenges and successes in the fight against AIDS, let us continue praying for those whose lives remain affected.
You can inspire others to learn more and help fight AIDS:
- Talk about AIDS with family and friends
- Advocate for treatment for all
- Generously support HIV and AIDS programs by raising funds for PWS&D
Learn more about PWS&D’s response at WeRespond.ca/hivaids.
Donate Today! Donations can be made online, through your church, by mailing a cheque to the PWS&D office or by calling 1-800-619-7301 ext. 291.
World AIDS Day 2016 Bulletin Insert
World AIDS Day 2016 Prayer Service