Globally, the AIDS response over the past five years has seen unprecedented gains. Today, there are 21.7 million people accessing HIV treatment. Eighty per cent of those who know their HIV status are accessing treatment. Four out of every five pregnant women living with HIV have access to treatment which prevents transmission of HIV to their babies. (Source: UNAIDS)
But prejudice, discrimination and poverty continue to exclude many people around the world from this progress. Youth who can’t afford school fees miss out on sexual and reproductive health education. Because of gender inequality, women and girls are more vulnerable to HIV and its complications.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Significant progress has been made in the AIDS response since the day was first observed on December 1, 1988—today 75 per cent of those living with HIV know their status. But there is still much to be done.
This year’s theme from UNAIDS—Know Your Status—encourages HIV testing, so that those living with HIV who do not know their status learn it and have the support and care they need to live with the disease.
PWS&D is actively working with partners around the world to make care more accessible for those living in vulnerable communities. Our church is helping people fight against stigma and discrimination, access counselling, treatment and HIV testing, and learn to prevent its spread. Care is provided to people living with the disease, as well as support to orphans and vulnerable children. Together, we are working to foster a world without AIDS.
Changing Attitudes in Malawi
In Malawi, PWS&D is supporting youth clubs that are raising awareness about the importance of knowing your HIV status. Through the clubs, young people are encouraged to seek out health services to help reduce the spread of HIV.
The clubs offer supportive spaces so no one has to be alone. As one young person shares, “HIV is not the end of the world or our lives. We can be normal and be together.” While it can still be difficult to disclose their HIV status in their communities, knowing their status means they can seek out the health care and support they need to live rich, full lives.
Respond with us!
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.
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.
2018 World AIDS Day Insert.pdf
World AIDS Day_Order of Service.pdf
Towards a World Without AIDS Impact Report