Dhaka – The World Aids Day is being observed Thursday with the theme “Hands up for HIV Prevention” in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world with the theme “Hands up for HIV Prevention”.
According to a report of UNAIDS, it was estimated that 8,900 people carried HIV in Bangladesh in 2014. There were 433 new infections detected in the year. Another 469 cases were detected in 2015, this figure is likely to rise in excess of 600 this year, informed sources said. Of the total estimated 8,900 victims, about 500 have died.
In the same year, the number of children (0-14 years) carrying HIV was estimated at 309 while the number of new infections among children was 63.
The World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the endemic.
The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to disseminate information about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world, particularly in high prevalence countries.
The National AIDS/STD Programme (NASP) project under the Health Ministry is being implemented by three NGOs – Mukto Akash, CAAP Confidential Approach to AIDS Prevention (CAAP) and Ashar Alo on a field level.
According to NASP data the number of HIV cases in 2010 was 343, in 2011 it rose to 445, in 2012 it reportedly dropped to 338, in 2013 the figure increased to 370. In the last two years 2014 and 2015 the HIV cases were 433 and 469.
The number HIV infected cases this year might be in excess of 600; the official figure is expected to be revealed by the Health Minister on the day.
In messages issued on the day Bangladesh President and the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appreciated steps taken at the national level to observe the day and thanked the concerned people in this regard.
The President and the Prime Minister said Bangladesh has successfully achieved different targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and HIV is one of them.
According to Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, worldwide 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported.
The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track—more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.
‘We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere. The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV.
We know that for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, the transition to adulthood is a particularly dangerous time. Young women are facing a triple threat: a high risk of HIV infection, low rates of HIV testing and poor adherence to HIV treatment.
Coinfections of people living with HIV, such as tuberculosis (TB), cervical cancer and hepatitis C, are at risk of putting the 2020 target of fewer than 500 000 AIDS-related deaths out of reach. TB caused about a third of AIDS-related deaths in 2015, while women living with HIV are at four to five times greater risk of developing cervical cancer. Taking AIDS out of isolation remains an imperative if the world is to reach the 2020 target.
With access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer. Investing in treatment is paying off, but people older than 50 who are living with HIV, including people who are on treatment, are at increased risk of developing age-associated noncommunicable diseases, affecting HIV disease progression.
AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life. Whatever our individual situation may be, we all need access to the tools to protect us from HIV and to access antiretroviral medicines should we need them. A life-cycle approach to HIV that finds solutions for everyone at every stage of life can address the complexities of HIV. Risks and challenges change as people go through life, highlighting the need to adapt HIV prevention and treatment strategies from birth to old age.’
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. – GreenWatch Dhaka.