World AIDS Day 2018, "Know your status", celebrates 30th anniversary

03 December, 2018, 15:53 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Dr. Johnmark Opondo

Head of monitoring and Evaluation at WACCBIP, Dr. Osbourne Quaye, said people refusing to take the test has contributed to the alarming increase because they unknowingly affect others with the virus.

On paper, Madagascar is largely unaffected by AIDS and HIV: according to UNAIDS, the prevalence of HIV is 0.3 percent.

"World AIDS Day reminds us that despite these gains, 1 in 4 people with HIV in the Region still don't know they have it, have not begun treatment and are therefore at greater risk of dying prematurely and infecting others".

If people don't know their HIV status, they can't protect themselves, their families, their partners.

The occasion also celebrates the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, first initiated by WHO in 1988. The aim of the event was to sensitize people from all walks of life on HIV/AIDS and motivate them to come forward and get tested to know about their HIV status while ensuring that all HIV positive cases are put on treatment. The virus can be also transmitted from mother to child.

Adebayo while lamenting low rate of HIV testing, disclosed that only 22 million out of over 37 million people now affected are undergoing treatment.

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"In the hardest-hit countries, girls account for more than 80% of all new HIV infections among adolescents. Many people still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic". The agency's also reminding people ME that HIV care and prevention have dramatically changed since the discovery of the virus in 1984, and many patients are able to live long lives.

"The good news is that for those who are HIV positive, the government has enough drugs and plans in place to support and treat the affected for free".

"This is a particular challenge for young people, with an estimated 700 adolescents being newly infected with HIV every day". During the intervening decades, HIV testing services became widely available - routinely through clinical settings and to higher-risk populations through community-based approaches.

"We have made tremendous progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS".

- In sub-Saharan Africa young women are twice as likely to be living with HIV than men.

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