The World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year since 1988. This is an international day dedicated to creating awareness of the HIV-AIDS.
This year we mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day; still, we need to work hard toward the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.
The 2018 World AIDS Day theme encourages everyone to know their HIV status. As per WHO, it is estimated that currently, only 75% of people with HIV know their status.
In the year 2017, 21.7 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy globally. The rest of the 25% represents more than 9 million people who need access to HIV testing.
The Government, as well as the healthcare professionals still deal with challenges related to HIV tests, including resistance from patients due to discrimination and stigma.
A very high number of populations across the globe are still reluctant to get an HIV test done.
It is vital for us to make sure that people who are infected with HIV & still not aware of their status get the test done and are linked to care & prevention services.
Mandatory HIV testing still remains a topic of debate in a majority of the countries because of the confidentiality issues. In the year 2004, Lesotho became one of the first countries in the world to launch a global effort to test its entire population for HIV.
Across the globe, the increasing no. of education programs and awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS has encouraged many people to opt for testing, even before showing the symptoms.
With the progress in technology, there are now multi-disease tests, self-tests, and rapid diagnostic test kits available. These options may improve the populations who are not comfortable accessing services in healthcare facilities.
The worldwide HIV/AIDS community should continue encouraging the expansion of HIV testing programs.
On this World AIDS Day, let each one of us take an oath to raise awareness of the importance of removing any barriers to accessing HIV testing.
So, it’s time to “know your Status”.
Please visit the Gullas College of Medicine to know more.