Established in 1988, World AIDS Day became the first ever global health day to be
recognized. Now acknowledged each year on December 1st , this day provides an opportunity
for support to be given to HIV victims in countries across the world. In demonstrating that
global unity is needed to succeed in the battle against HIV, the theme of World AIDS Day
this year is, “Global solidarity, shared responsibility.”
It is estimated that 38 million people across the globe were living with HIV in the year 2019.
A further 690,000 individuals died from aids-related illnesses, making it one of the most
destructive pandemics in history. It is therefore imperative that governments come together
and formulate strategies to ensure that health care is a top priority.
Human Rights Approach to World Aids Day
However, no one country is able to accomplish this alone and so, both domestic and international funding must be increased. Vaccines and live saving medicines need to be considered public goods and made
more readily available. Additionally, more needs to be done for access to be ensured and to
further strengthen the health systems. The key to ending this ongoing epidemic is grounded in human rights approaches, putting people at the centre and eliminating the stigma and discrimination attached to HIV.
As a Member of Parliament of a country where 11 thousand people are currently living with HIV, it is essential that I also promote the commemoration of this day. There is still an urgent need to heighten the awareness of HIV’s impact on peoples’ lives, increase funding towards the response and to enhance the standard of living of those with HIV.
Furthermore, emphasis needs to be placed upon fighting prejudice and improving education, as there are still those unaware that they are living with HIV. Now is the time for a right to health for all, equal
opportunities and a vigorous recovery, globally.