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World Health Organization On World AIDS Day 2017: "Everybody Counts"

Last December 1, 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) observed World AIDS Day by reminding everyone of its theme: Right to Health.

Complementing "Right to Health" with the slogan “Everybody counts", WHO aims to include everyone in the world with access to quality and affordable health care services such as diagnostics, medicines, and other health essentials for people who are in need.

Photo from www.un.org/en/

 

WHO emphasizes that there should be “zero tolerance” to stigma and discrimination in all health care services. WHO expects communities to be proactive partners in this advocacy.

Here are some statistics about Global Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):

  • 20.9 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy in June 2017.
  • 36.7 million [30.8 million–42.9 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2016.
  • 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.1 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2016.
  • 1 million [830 000–1.2 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2016.
  • 76.1 million [65.2 million–88.0 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic.
  • 35.0 million [28.9 million–41.5 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

In an article in CNN Philippines from August 30 of this year, UN Programme on HIV/AIDS Regional Support Team for Asia Pacific Director Eammon Murphy said, "(The Philippines is) slipping behind and that's a very fast growing epidemic and very quickly it's overtaking other countries in the region in terms of the number of new infections and that's quite a concern for the country."

The article further states: "The Department of Health (DOH) has tallied 44,010 cases of Filipinos with HIV/AIDS from January 1984 to May 2017. This year, the number of HIV/AIDS cases rose by 15 percent to 4,388 [percent] from January to May compared to the same period a year ago."

 

World AIDS Day in the Philippines

 

Recently, a mobile app was developed to help people become aware of HIV clinics and their locations as well as treatment centers. This app is called #SafelyPH.

 

Takeaways

Photo from WorldAIDSDay.org

 

  • At the end of the day, we still ponder why people are denied basic health services considering it’s something that each country must priority.
  • One way of supporting the cause is being an advocate in your own little way. Ignorance and disinterest in HIV and AIDS is no longer fashionable in 2017. The most basic things to know? One: HIV and AIDS can only be transmitted through blood, semen, rectal and vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Two: Everyone should get tested.

World AIDS Day calls out to everyone to be aware. “Everybody counts” won’t count unless we care. WHO says the slogan will be enforced in policies, laws, and practices in all relevant sectors.