By Melanie Nathan, December 01, 2011
The fight against HIV/ AIDS took to the World stage today, with countries focusing on plans and accomplishments, as the globe partners to bring an end to the epidemic that has taken so many millions of lives.
This internationally most recognized time of year dedicated to health, all across the globe as victims are remembered and survivors are congratulated.
While activist and recent contest winner, Mr. Gay South Africa 2011, Lance Weyer (24), was publicly tested for HIV at the South African National World AIDS Day Commemoration Event at KwaZakhele in the Eastern Cape, hundreds of people were gathered in the National Aids Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
The day provided the opportunity to unify around the world, on the disease and a myriad of focus issues such as highlighting testing, nutrition, new treatment protocols and government plans.
On Nov. 21, UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011, was released presenting a focused and strategic approach to grappling with the HIV/AIDS crisis:
“Now is the time for action, the time to translate words of commitment into meaningful and lasting results for people. By mobilizing the political will, showing international solidarity and commitment, improving the strategic use of resources, and effectively deploying available tools, it will be possible to arrive at a world in 2015 that is decidedly healthier, more just and more inclusive than today … The knowledge and the tools to defeat AIDS now exist. Decisions made now will determine whether this is truly the beginning of the end of AIDS.”
In America we can reflect on the Nov. 8, remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spoke at the National Institutes of Health, where she delivered a message concentrated on the efforts of the Obama administration to create an AIDS-free generation.
Clinton described the AIDS-free generation as one in which practically all children are born free of HIV, infection rates during the progression from birth to adulthood are significantly reduced due to an array of prevention tools, and treatment that circumvents the development of AIDS for those who may acquire HIV is accessible while the transmission of the virus to others is prohibited.
Clinton went on to delineate a strategy to create an AIDS-free generation focused on a combination of treatment and prevention interventions, namely eliminating HIV transmission between mother and child, extending voluntary medical male circumcision, and scaling up treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as the use of condoms, counseling, and testing among others.
Clinton ascribed the efficacy of the action plan on “institutional and social changes like ending stigma; reducing discrimination against women and girls; stopping gender-based violence and exploitation, which continue to put women and girls at higher risk of HIV infection; and repealing laws that make people criminals simply because of their sexual orientation.”
Cuba is developing a broad program of activities to mark the World AIDS Day on Thursday, according to experts from the Cuban Public Health Ministry.
Community debates, book presentations, theater performances, video debates and a cultural gala are some of the events that will take place in Cuba to celebrate the World AIDS Day, said Manuel Hernandez, from the National Prevention Center.
This way, Cuba has joined the initiative presented by UNAIDS to promote programs and projects to reduce the new AIDS cases to zero, deaths and discrimination all over the world.
Maria Isela Lantero, head of the National Prevention Program for AIDS and Transmissible Diseases, highlighted the importance of the prespective, although she recognized it may not become a reality.
“Reaching zero transmission, zero deaths and zero discrimination from now to 2015 is quite difficult, but it is useful to know the disease can be prevented,” she said. source: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=455327&Itemid
Until such time as AIDS is wiped out, the most important element of the day ought to be the admonishing of those who have the responsibility to educate and provide awareness, yet through misinformation and draconian abstinence programs, fail humanity by refusing to do the basics.