World AIDS Day
1st December 2016
In an effort to unite against the worldwide spread of HIV/AIDS and to show solidarity with those living with HIV, World AIDS Day is back this Thursday 1st December for the 28th year running.
With over 100,000 people diagnosed in the UK alone, an estimated 34 million people worldwide currently living with HIV, which is almost the same number that have succumbed to AIDS historically since its formal identification in 1984.
While scientific and social advances have seen a massive improvement in HIV treatment and awareness of the disease, the reality of social stigma for the 6,000 people diagnosed with HIV per year in the UK demonstrates that the battle is far from over.
Dr Dagmar Zeuner, Director of Public Health at NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "As far as HIV is concered, there is no such thing as too much awareness. 17% of those living with HIV have no idea that they carry the disease and therefore run the risk of spreading it further.
"Due to this risk we encourage people to test and access prompt treatment and care, as the earlier a person with HIV is diagnosed and treated, the greater their life expectancy and quality of life."
"World AIDS Day and The Red Run are great because they are inclusive, community-minded initiatives yet they serve a serious purpose. HIV is not going away any time soon and until it does, we have to keep fighting against its spread."
To participate in World AIDS Day you can spread awareness by wearing a red ribbon, raise money for the National Aids Trust, attending an event, or even hosting your own event.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS, click here.