1 DECEMBER – WORLD AIDS DAY
December 1, 2008 in Uncategorized
World AIDS Day
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
South Africa is currently experiencing one of the most severe AIDS epidemics in the world. At the end of 2007, there were approximately 5.7 million people living with HIV in South Africa, and almost 1,000 AIDS deaths occurring every day.1
A number of factors have been blamed for the increasing severity of South Africa’s AIDS epidemic, and debate has raged about whether the government’s response has been sufficient. This page looks at the impact that AIDS has had on South Africa, the historical context of the epidemic, and the major issues surrounding the crisis.
The scale of South Africa’s AIDS crisis
It is difficult to overstate the suffering that HIV has caused in South Africa. With statistics showing that almost one in five adults are infected, HIV is widespread in a sense that can be difficult to imagine for those living in less-affected countries. For each person living with HIV, in South Africa and elsewhere, not only does it impact on their lives, but also those of their families, friends and wider communities.
It is clear that AIDS is having a devastating impact on South Africa. There are many possible reasons why South Africa has been so badly affected by AIDS, including poverty, social instability and a lack of government action. One way to gain a better insight into the situation is to look back on the history of AIDS in South Africa.
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