Today marks World AIDS Day, an annual campaign where people across the world hold events to raise awareness about HIV. This year marks the day’s 30th anniversary, highlighting the significant progress made towards the treatment of HIV and the reduction of deaths from AIDS since 1988.
The theme for 2018-19 is ‘Know Your Status’ which stresses the importance of getting tested for HIV if you have been put at risk; today 3 in 4 people living with HIV know their status, yet a vast majority of people worldwide still remain unaware they are carrying the HIV virus. Not knowing your HIV status causes a delay in receiving treatment but also increases the risk of HIV transmission to others. Getting tested for HIV is therefore essential as early diagnosis leads to earlier commencement of treatment and better outcomes for the person.
Being diagnosed with HIV today has a very different meaning than it did 20-30 years ago; it is no longer the death sentence it was thought to be. Mainly due to research and the modern advances in HIV medicine, people are now leading healthy and productive lives whilst managing their HIV successfully. Yet the stigma attached to the virus is persistent, and prevents many people living with HIV from disclosing their HIV status (for fear of being discriminated). Many people also feel wary of healthcare systems in being able to maintain adequate confidentiality of their diagnosis and treatment, which can lead to a delay in HIV testing.
World Aids Day provides the opportunity to dispel the myths surrounding HIV and AIDs, and encourage our global communities to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDs, and more importantly to work together to ensure no other lives are lost too.
Collect your red ribbon at the reception of the Primary Care Centre (PCC) or St Bernard’s Hospital – TODAY.
Getting tested if you have been put at risk is the best way to safeguard your health, and the health of those around you-
Contact your GP or Well Person Unit, call: 200 07842