ST GEORGE'S, GRENADA, DECEMBER, 1 2016, GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICE (GIS): - "HANDS UP FOR #HIVPREVENTION!" - Today, we commemorate World AIDS Day - we stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the millions who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic decades ago.
The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Grenada, like other nations are getting on the Fast-Track in implementing programs that targets people that are on life saving treatment.
Here at home, we continue to celebrate the gains made from our HIV/AIDS interventions, since the first cases of HIV were reported; and build on the successes of our programs.
As we celebrate today some of our social partners namely GrenCHAP, GrenAIDS, YWCA, Grenada Red Cross, Grenada Planned Parenthood and the Lions Club, are at the forefront leading the charge with the Ministry of Health.
Throughout the day HIV/AIDS educational activities, testing, condoms distribution, CPR and first aid training, an HIV/AIDS awareness walk, and a Mannequin Challenge among schools will be conducted to raise awareness.
We firmly believe that we are on track like other countries to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.
According to Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, "We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere. The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV."
Research indicates that co-infections among people living with HIV, such as tuberculosis (TB), cervical cancer and hepatitis C, are at risk of putting the 2020 target of fewer than 500 000 AIDS-related deaths out of reach.
However with access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer. Investing in treatment is paying off, hence the reason the Ministry of Health and by extension Government of Grenada continues to back and fund programs that address prevention and support, and most of all provide access to life saving treatment and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.
AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life.
HANDS UP FOR #HIVPREVENTION!