FRIDAY, December 1 was recognised as World AIDS Day, observed under the theme “My Health, My Right”.
According to the United Nations (UN), everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, has a right to health, which is also dependent on adequate sanitation and housing, nutritious food, healthy working conditions and access to justice. The UN said ending AIDS as a public health threat can only happen if these rights are placed at the centre of global health, so that quality health care is available and accessible for everyone.
As such, a #myrighttohealth campaign was launched this year to provide information about the right to health and what impact it has on people's lives. It will also aim to increase visibility around the need to achieve the full realisation of the right to health by everyone, everywhere.
Remarkable progress is being made in HIV treatment, and The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. Statistics show that in 2000, just 685,000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy, and by June 2017, around 20.9 million people had access to the life-saving medicines.
Regionally, HIV experts have been tasked with developing strategies to engage the Caribbean on the “treatment as prevention” approach to HIV care which will put the region on track to end the AIDS epidemic.