Officials are calling for more attention and funding toward HIV, as declines have recently slowed worldwide. In the United States, they have actually been on the rise, which poses as a concern for both the population, and the medical community.
HIV is no longer a life-ending sentence. There are treatments that patients can take to continue on with their lives, but there’s still a risk. First, they can still infect others, have to live with being HIV positive, and the disease could potentially turn into AIDS once treatment is stopped. It’s treatable, but not curable.
And the problem seems more prevalent in young adults, between 15 and 24 years old, who have been the majority of the HIV positive population. According Karen Hacker, who is a county health director, it’s important to not forget that the world is not rid of HIV or AIDS just yet. It may not inspire the same fear as it once did, but it’s still a grave issue that should be addressed.
In order to bolster their campaign, organizations are distributing free condoms, reaching out through social media, inventing new condom emojis, encouraging safe sex, and providing access to PrEP treatments. Certain clinics even offer free testing, and prompts several groups of people vulnerable to the infection to take advantage of it.
Particularly, those who practice unsafe sex with multiple partners, or gay men, and intravenous drug users in general seem to be most at risk, especially teenagers and young adults. In honor of World AIDS Day, on December 1st, the overall message was the importance of working together to stop the transmission of AIDS.
The South African government spoke about the 3.2 million people under ARVs treatment on World AIDS Day, underlining the growing issue. Asia doubled the number of HIV infections since 2005, and while India has decreased the numbers from 128,000 in 2007 to 86,000 in 2015, that decline has slowed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has stated that New York will see to an additional $23 million spent on medicine to treat or prevent HIV. They are an important part of the battle, as AIDS is the second global killer among teenagers. This highlights an importance on preventing it by offering treatment and encouraging safe sex.
There are hopes to end the ‘epidemic’ by 2020, but the rates are unfortunately high. It would take more campaigns and additional funding from governments around the world. It appears that the fear factor has diminished efforts, and fewer people are now afraid of HIV. However, the gravity of the situation should not slip past their attention.
Image source: bulawayo24.com