30 November 2021

December 1, 2021

World HIV Prevention Day

 

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December 1 is World AIDS Day. This day has acquired the status of an annual event in most countries of the world and demonstrates international solidarity in the fight against the HIV / AIDS epidemic.

World AIDS Day has a theme each year. This year's theme will be “Eliminate Inequality. End AIDS. Stop Pandemics".

In 2021, the world's attention is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the lives and well-being of people. This pandemic has shown us once again how closely the issue of health is linked to other important issues such as human rights, gender equality and social protection. COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated that in any pandemic, common safety depends on everyone’s safety. To be successful, you need to provide help to all who need it. Eradicating stigma and discrimination and adopting human rights and gender equality approaches are key to ending the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics in the world.

Today, World AIDS Day remains relevant, reminding that the issue of raising awareness of HIV infection remains critical.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, more than 38 million people with HIV live on the planet. Over the past 30 years, about 33 million people have died from AIDS.

In the Republic of Belarus, over the past decade, the largest number of new cases is registered at the age of over 35 years. Heterosexual transmission of HIV prevails.

As of November 1, 2021, the following are registered in the republic:

      more than 30 thousand cases of HIV infection;

      more than 23 thousand people living with HIV.

In our country, a system that ensures maximum accessibility to counseling and testing for HIV infection  has been created. You can take voluntary testing for HIV infection, including anonymous testing, in any medical institution that has a treatment room. Also in the country, on the basis of non-profit organizations, there are anonymous counseling centers that provide counseling and testing for HIV infection for the most vulnerable to HIV infection groups of the population  (injecting drug users, women involved in sex work, men entering sexual relations with men).

All HIV-positive patients in the Republic of Belarus who are under dispensary observation receive antiretroviral therapy drugs free of charge. The number of such patients today is about 19 thousand people. By starting treatment on time and following all the doctor's instructions, people living with HIV can live long and fulfilling lives. The quality of life of HIV-positive people, thanks to these drugs, is almost the same as the quality of life of people without HIV.

The efforts of the medical community, the education system, culture, and the media are aimed at educating the population on the prevention of HIV infection, with an emphasis on maintaining the social value of the family and the birth of a healthy generation, respecting human rights, and avoiding stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV-infection. Respect for the rights of an individual, as a rule, requires observance of certain boundaries and prevention of violation of the rights of another is a correct understanding of this condition levels out many dissonances and disagreements in the field of observance of rights. Formation of an adequate understanding of HIV infection based on reliable information about the modes of transmission of infection, in particular, about the impossibility of contracting HIV in everyday life, will help reduce stigma towards people living with HIV.

      AIDS is still a terminal disease. But modern antiretroviral therapy can prevent it by suppressing HIV activity. It is now a simple chronic condition requiring daily medication. Following their doctor's orders HIV-positive people can live normal lives, and in developed countries life expectancy is not much different from that of healthy people.

 

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The material was prepared on the basis of information from WHO and the State Institution "Republican Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health"