By Hlulani Masingi

Monday, 1st December 2014 marks the World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Every year government and health officials, non-governmental organisations and people around the world fight against HIV/AIDS, to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have lost their lives in the epidemic.

The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is ‘Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation’. The message is to try and control and minimise the high HIV/AIDS infection and death rate all over the world. It is important to join forces together as a nation and fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

According to UNAIDS, South Africa’s HIV/AIDS in 2013 statistics were as follows:

People living with HIV                                                 6 300 000 (6 000 000 to 6 500 000)

Adults aged 15 – 49 prevalence rate                          19.1% (18.1% to 19.9%)

Adults aged 15 and up living with HIV                       5 900 000 (5 700 000 to 6 200 000)

Women aged 15 and up living with HIV                     3 500 000 (3 300 000 to 3 700 000)

Children aged 0 to 14 living with HIV                         360 000 (320 000 to 390 000)

Deaths due to AIDS                                                     200 000 (170 000 to 220 000)

Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17                              2 400 000 (810 000 to 2 600 000)

Ways To Show Solidarity In The Fight Against Aids:

  • Wear a red ribbon – a universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV.
  • Start a conversation about the reality of HIV/Aids.
  • Expand awareness on social media by reminding everyone of World AIDS Day.
  • Donate to charities to support their work in supporting children and families affected by HIV and AIDS.

It important to support people living with HIV/AIDS to build a lasting change for children and families affected by HIV and AIDS.

 

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