By Derrick Kiplagat
Being the first global health day in history, World AIDS Day was first held in 1988. Held every first Day of December since then, it is a day that creates an opportunity for people worldwide to unite and fight against the deadly HIV virus and show their support for those people living with the virus.
First identified in 1984, the virus has since killed over 35 million people making it one of the most hazardous pandemics in history. Globally, there are an estimated 24 million people who live with the virus. In UK alone, where industrialization and civilization has taken root, 100,000 people are said to be HIV +.
This day is an opportunity for people to show solidarity and support with millions of people living with AIDS. Wearing a red ribbon is one way of doing this. This is also a day where people raise money for the NAT (National AIDS Trust).
In Kenya half of those infected with the virus do not know about I hence making prevention and control of the virus a needle in the hay stack affair. According to statistics, out of every 10 HIV positive individuals, only 6 of them take the anti-retrovirals, this leads to many of them losing lives due to the fact that they do not know their condition.
It is also said that one in every six people who are on ARVs miss the drug once in a month. This stat doesn’t make anything look better right? Why? Because interruption in the intake of the ARVs comes with less viral load suppression, that eventually leads to drug resistance.
Stats also show that women in their teenage are twice likely to be infected with the virus than their male counterparts. However women in their 20s and 30s have a better testing record compared to men with 18 out of every 20 women getting tested. For men, only 9 out of 20 have been tested between the age of 20 and 30.
The theme of World Aids Day 2015 is: Getting to zero; end Aids by 2030. The federal theme this year is: The time to act is now.