There are currently 35.3 million people living with HIV. Since the start of the epidemic, around 78 million people have become infected with HIV (with Sub-Saharan Africa being the most affected region) and 39 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. In 2013 alone around 2.1 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV. 240,000 of these were children.
While these statistics are tragic and cause for serious concern, world health and HIV/AIDS organisations have been making progress in providing access to treatment, raising awareness, and educating people on prevention of infection of HIV. In 2013, of those living with HIV, only 9.7 million (27% of those infected) had access to antiretroviral drugs. In June 2014 this number rose to 13.6 million according to the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2014. But we still need to do more!
How You Can Help - Spread the word
1. Know the facts - learn about the virus
2. Put your knowledge into action - educate others in your community or volunteer on HIV and Healthcare focused projects
3. Raise awareness through social media, mobile and blogs
Alongside their existing goals and targets, this year UNAIDS launched their #CloseTheGap campaign which highlights the need for closing the gap between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind.
Use the #WAD2014, #WorldAIDSDay and #CloseTheGap hashtags on your social media channels and be involved in the conservation.