“On this #WorldAIDSDay, I call on world leaders to unite in our common cause. We have started to turn the tide. We have set a bold target. Let us end AIDS together by 2030.”— Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
To commemorate 2014 World AIDS Day, Action Health Incorporated organized a programme for Secondary School students across Lagos State. Every year on December 1, the World AIDS day is observed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity. Despite considerable progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, it continues to cause much suffering to people around the World. Thus, this year World AIDS Day celebration with the theme “Close the gap” was focused on creating opportunities to harness the power of social change to put people first and close the gap. It is envisioned that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible, but only by closing the gap between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind.
The programme which had about 100 students in attendance kicked off with two short video clips shown “No Hoodie No Honey and Shuga” . The videos emphasized the importance of abstinence and Condom use; and the window period of HIV Virus development in Humans. Coming after the film show was the presentation from Dr David Oladele on HIV/AIDS where he highlighted the causes and challenges faced by young people living with the virus and various preventive measures. Furthermore, Dr Oladele stressed that closing the gap involves action from all; to end stigmatization, reduce to Zero level HIV/AIDs epidemic and easy access to drugs. Also, the students were availed the opportunities to ask questions and clarify misconceptions.
In addition, closing the gap means empowering and enabling all people, everywhere, to access the services they need.
- By closing the HIV testing gap, the 19 million people who are unaware of their HIV-positive status can begin to get support.
- By closing the treatment gap, all 35 million people living with HIV will have access to life-saving medicine.
- By closing the gap in access to medicines for children, all children living with HIV will be able to access treatment, not just the 24% who have access today.
- By closing the access gap, all people can be included as part of the solution. (UNAIDS)