World AIDS Day 2017

Friday 1 December is World AIDS Day.  Founded in 1988, the day is 'an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.' says the National AIDS Trust

In the UK it is estimated that over 100,000 people are living with HIV.  In New Zealand that estimate is around 3500.  This is a stark contrast to Sub-Saharan Africa where more than 70 percent of the 37 million people worldwide living with HIV reside.  Since the disease was first identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS.

According to the Gates Foundation, 'the global incidence of HIV has declined by nearly 40 percent since 2001, and 17 million people worldwide are receiving antiretroviral treatment.'  But so much more can be done to raise awareness and prevent new infections.  In Zimbabwe, for example, there were 40,000 new HIV infections in 2016 (UNAIDS Data 2017).  The Gates Foundation works in some of the hardest-hit countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and has committed more than US$3 billion in HIV grants to organizations around the world and more than US$1.6 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation offers HIV prevention programmes, testing services, counselling and support.  Charities like (RED) partner with iconic brands and donate 50% of profits to the Global Fund to fight AIDS (more than $500 million has been generated to date).

So show your support this Friday by wearing a red ribbon and donating and let's work together to end AIDS.

Red Ribbon
By Gary van der Merwe [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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