PEOPLE: Of the World's 35 million living with HIV, 70% live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In most Sub-Saharan countries nowadays, travellers will notice that the campaigns around knowing one's status have had a positive outcome in many communities. Although in some countries is it still a stigma surrounded by denial, generally people are indeed coming together to fight the epidemic in future generations. When travelling, although creating AIDS awareness is critical, it is also very important to be culturally sensitive, and to respect both those who wish to share their insight or experience and those who don't.

Hereunder an extract from an article published by CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) for World AIDS Day this month.

"Every December 1st, the world observes World AIDS Day. Thirty five years after the first cases were reported, we have more tools than ever before to fight HIV, but there is a narrow window within which we can accelerate progress towards an AIDS-free generation. Countries are working to achieve the UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets, which call for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of those diagnosed to start and stay on antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment to have a suppressed viral load by 2020 with a goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. [...]

Globally, there are nearly 37 million people living with HIV. In 2015, more than 1 million people died from AIDS-related causes and over 2 million people were newly infected by HIV. Two-thirds of new HIV infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Global efforts have resulted in 18.2 million people receiving life-saving treatment, millions of lives being saved and new HIV infections averted, and there are now have more tools available than ever before to end HIV. Although the world has made significant progress, much work still remains. "


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