News That Matters
World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st. The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988. World AIDS Day provides governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals with an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic.
In 2007, the estimated number of persons living with HIV worldwide was 33.2 million and there were 2.7 million people newly infected. More>>
We hope these resources will assist your efforts to educate, motivate, and mobilize your local community in the fight against HIV/AIDS!
What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system - the body's defence against diseases. The latest research suggests that between 70 and 90 per cent of people may experience symptoms of infection a few days after having been infected. Three symptoms occurring together: fever, rash and a severe sore throat should always be considered a potential indicator of HIV infection. These symptoms usually disappear within two or three weeks. Other people may not have symptoms to start with. In all cases, without effective treatment the immune system will eventually become very weak and no longer be able to fight off illnesses.
Are HIV and AIDS the same?
I don't know anyone with HIV... do I?
Is there a cure for HIV?
What's it like living with HIV?
Coming to terms with an HIV diagnosis and getting used to treatment can be very difficult however, and people living with HIV will often need support from healthcare providers, friends and family, employers and support organisations.
Why do people find it hard to tell others they are HIV positive?
HIV prejudice is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is passed on and unfounded fear of becoming infected. Encouraging those around us to talk about HIV and find out the facts can help overcome this.
People living with HIV:
New HIV cases in 2007:
HIV-related deaths in 2007:
All figures from UNAIDS.
New HIV Cases Could Be Reduced By 95% With Universal Voluntary Testing And Immediate Treatment, Mathematical Model ShowsScienceDaily (Nov. 29, 2008) — Universal and annual voluntary testing followed by immediate antiretroviral therapy treatment (irrespective of clinical stage or CD4 count) can reduce new HIV cases by 95% within 10 years, according to new findings based on a mathematical model developed by a group of HIV specialists in WHO.
Authors of the study also report that the universal voluntary testing followed by immediate ART could have additional public health benefits, including reducing the incidence of tuberculosis and the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Additionally, the model suggests that there could be a significant reduction of HIV-related morbidity and mortality in resource-limited countries with generalized HIV epidemics.
The current WHO policy on treatment involves voluntary testing and clinical and/or immunological evaluation (e.g. CD4 count) to determine eligibility for treatment with antiretrovirals.
The authors emphasize the theoretical nature of the exercise based on data and raise a number of concerns regarding feasibility, including the protection of individual rights, drug resistance, toxicity and financing challenges.
The paper does not signal a change in WHO guidance. WHO-recommended preventive interventions need to be maintained and expanded. This includes male circumcision, partner reduction, correct and consistent use of condoms, and interventions targeting most-at-risk populations, also known as "combination prevention."
WHO will convene a meeting early next year bringing together ethicists, funders, human rights advocates, clinicians, prevention experts and AIDS programme managers to discuss this and other issues related to the wider use of antiretroviral therapy for HIV prevention.