In 1988 WHO declared December 1st as the World AIDS day. And it has been observed worldwide since then. The world AIDS day is mostly dedicated to raising awareness of the disease caused by the spread of HIV and on prevention of the spread of this deadly disease.
Hands up for HIV Prevention
With this years theme “Hands up for HIV Prevention” the world AIDS day campaign looks at the ways to improve prevention strategies identifying key areas among specific groups of people who are vulnerable to transmission – adolescent girls and young women in particular.
In his world AIDS day statement UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasizes “While there is clear progress in tackling the disease, gains remain fragile. Young women are especially vulnerable in countries with high HIV prevalence, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Key populations continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. New infections are on the rise among people who inject drugs as well gay men and other men who have sex with men. The AIDS epidemic is increasing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, fuelled by stigma, discrimination and punitive laws. Globally, people who are economically disadvantaged lack access to services and care. Criminalization and discrimination foster new infections each day. Women and girls are still especially hard hit.”
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, in his message says “The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track—more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child. ”
Situation in Sri Lanka
When compared to most of the other developing countries Sri Lanka shows much better control over this deadly disease. According to the latest reports from the National STD/AIDS Control Programme by the end of the 3rd quarter of this year there were 2502 HIV positive patients out of which 647 patients were diagnosed with AIDS. By the end of the 3rd quarter of this year there had been 34 AIDS related deaths reported from the country. According to the 2015 year end statistics highest number of HIV/AIDS cases were reported from Colombo, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kandy districts.