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Save Lives on World AIDS Day 2009

The world is celebrating World Aids Day on December 1, 2009 – another important day in fighting this unrelenting epidemic. Both public and private individuals have the chance to join in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS while encouraging everyone to do their part in preventing the spread of the deadly disease.

Despite the efforts being done by local and international groups in trying to stop or at least slowdown HIV infection rate, a notable increase in the number of new HIV positive individuals worldwide is clearly seen. According to WHO, 2008 recorded 33.4 million people living with HIV, 2.7 million of those are newly infected with the virus, and 2 million others died.

2008 figures released by WHO say the Sub-Saharan Africa still remains as the region that is most heavily affected by HIV, comprising 67% infected and 72% AIDS-related deaths worldwide. The 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update, on the other hand, shows there is 17% reduction in new HIV infections as against the previous eight years. In the South-Saharan Africa, there’s 15% decline which is almost 400,000 lesser than last year’s. Other regions like east and south, south-east Asia and Europe also show notable declines, whereas others are rising again. Deaths also declined by 10%.

In these developments, the program of effective prevention has greatly helped. However, HIV is evolving and the ways to fight it is left far behind. To fill this lack, organizations see the benefit of expanding awareness through the internet. Social networking sites, they say, are a great venue of reaching more and more people and establishing more valuable resources that can help save lives. Local programs that generate faster result will still be more effective, though.

Programs such as free HIV testing in Kenya can greatly help. But penetrating even deeper into the smallest units of the society will bring better impact. Local health centers, clinics and hospitals may assign several healthcare professionals to spread awareness in a regular basis. How often should the program need to be done depends on how severe the HIV status in the area. Administrators can communicate with the authorities to give the men and women in medical scrubs enough support that they need.

For now, let us do our part to make the World AIDS Day successful and help save more lives.

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About Mecheil Lewis