The end of the year is around the corner and at this time many people around the globe take stock of their lives- their achievements, failures, and goals or resolutions. Typically, the end of the year provides an opportunity to plan out goals for the coming year.
December first was World AIDS day. Below are global statistics and findings from 2015, and an initiative by UNAIDS. This list truly provides insight into where the global community can focus on goal setting for 2017:
• In 2015 there were 34.9 million adults globally living with HIV, 51% of them were women
• Also, in 2015 there were 2.1 million new HIV infections, 1.1 million AIDS-related deaths, and about 5700 new HIV infections daily
• Since 2003 the number of AIDS-related deaths has decreased by 45%; this implies that more adults living with HIV age into adulthood. People living with HIV have increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
• In Eastern and Southern Africa where 19.0 million people live with HIV, about 10.3 million are on antiretroviral therapy, this is double the number it was in 2010
• Approximately 7500 women between ages 15 and 24 acquired HIV every week in 2015, this is linked to gender inequalities in societies
• The risk of becoming infected with HIV increases significantly for adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa
• AIDS is the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 49
• Childhood and adolescence violence increases HIV-related risk behavior among adolescent girls and young women
• Child brides are at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections including HIV because they are unable to negotiate for safer sex
• Violence can lead to decreased adherence to treatment among women living with HIV
• 90-90-90, a UNAIDS initiative established in 2014 “By 2020 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know they are HIV status are accessing treatment, and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads”
HIV/AIDS is no respecter of persons. The good news! The risk of death has been greatly reduced! Sadly, women and children are more affected by HIV/AIDS than ever before. Keep in mind that the infection produces significant effects on the different systems of the body, and can result in major emotional and social consequences for those affected. In 2017, make it a goal to make a difference by supporting programs that help women, children and men affected by HIV/AIDs.
UNAIDS. AIDS by the number. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/AIDS-by-the-numbers-2016_en.pdf. Accessed November 28, 2016.
UNAIDS. Get on the fast-track: the life-cycle approach to HIV. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/Get-on-the-Fast-Track_en.pdf. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Press Release. UNAIDS Website. http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/november/20151125_PS_womengirlshealthrights. Accessed December 1, 2016