Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day, and this year we reflect upon the achievements of our partner organisations, coaches, players, staff and all our supporters working towards the elimination of HIV/AIDS. This year’s theme is “My Health, My Right” and we could not agree more that we all have a right to good health, no matter where you were born or what your income level.
The global response to HIV/AIDS has come a long way since the first ever World AIDS Day in 1988. Now, with widespread availability of HIV testing, and hugely improved access to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) – medication that can suppress the HIV virus – the death rate from the AIDS epidemic has decreased massively in the last decade (from its peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016 (UNAIDS)). That is not to say there isn’t still work to do of course. HIV/AIDS remains one of the most serious public health issues in our recorded history, and is the leading cause of death worldwide for women of reproductive age. Among adolescents in many of the countries we work, the prevalence rate is in fact rising, and HIV is the second biggest killer of adolescents across Africa.
Today, we celebrate and pay tribute to all our partners across Africa, working tirelessly to ensure their communities will one day be HIV-free.