Raising awareness on World AIDS Day

Tell Me I’m Okay by David Bradford

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

In western and central Europe and North America, however, almost 80% of people with HIV have access to ART, resulting in extremely low AIDS-related death rates compared to other world regions.

"Ultimately, it's up to each person to take responsibility for their health and that of their loved ones".

"Sometimes people say, 'Is that still a thing?' And yes, it definitely is", said Chris Chapman, who is part of UW Health's HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care Program.

Latest official estimates by United Nations agencies show that Africa is far off track in reducing new HIV infections among children and young people and is unlikely to reduce new infections in young people substantially before 2030 due to an anticipated doubling of the adolescent population.

"The good news is people are living and thriving with HIV and living long and healthy lives", Chapman said.

About 70 percent of HIV incidence occurred in key affected populations which include people who inject drugs, female sex workers and men who have sex with men. There's no shame about living with HIV.

Del Rio told CNN that a vaccine will be a "critical tool" in preventing HIV transmission.

The ministry said that the number of patients treated with lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) has doubled to over 175,000 patients in September 2019 from over 85,000 in 2015. The CDC also said the South "lags behind in providing quality HIV prevention services and care". The donors that have been accepted have been diagnosed with HIV but are being treated to reduce their viral blood load to such a level that their sperm will not carry the infection to their children.

"To avoid this increase, two main facts need to be worked out; first, modernization of disease detection strategies and the use of modern testing methods in various health facilities; second, increasing awareness of the risk of HIV infection". The CHCC Family Planning Program offers condoms at no charge to all CNMI residents.

For more information, call the health department at 941-741-3747.



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