Campaign Poster 2015
It has been 30 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Program on AIDS to raise awareness on the spread of HIV, in addition to provide technical and financial support to countries to conduct research, and promote equality among people living with the virus.
This year, World Aids Day commemorates the 2017 slogan “Let’s End It!” to rally people against the negative stigma attached to People Living with HIV (PLHIV), and the transmission of the disease.
For the uneducated and misinformed individual, knowledge of a person infected with the virus would send them fleeing from sight. Negative attitudes, fear of contagion and misperceptions about transmission have outcast some patients who are in need of concern, understanding, and support from their social sphere.
Ryan White, an Indiana teenager, became poster boy for HIV/AIDS in 1985 after he was banned from school due to the mystery disease. He contracted the virus from contaminated blood products used to treat his haemophilia.
Thankfully, with greater efforts gathered to educate the public over the last three decades, PLHIV today are more acceptable in society. But, pockets of bigots still exist out there. In a progressive society with more liberal mindsets, Ryan White’s story should not be repeated.
In Singapore alone, the Action for Aids and Gay Health (Pink Carpet) offer a variety of outreach program to advocate for diversity and inclusivity – all to promote equality.
The infection can leave psychological scars among those infected. Since diagnosis of HIV has historically been associated to men who have sex with men (MSM) and injection drug users, it is no wonder that PLHIV would feel devalued in the eyes of the society.
Admitting to the virus also means undermining their credibility especially in the workforce. Their denial of the condition is as great as the discrimination they could possibly face by the community. This shouldn’t be the case. World Aids Day 2017 wants to not only end isolation, but also to end discrimination against PLHIV in all aspect of their lives.
As medical research advances, frequent testing, rapid treatments,along with the existence of PrEP, diagnosis of HIV among gay men have been significantly reduced in the UK. With efficient medical treatment, the average life span of a HIV person can reach up to 80 years of age.
World Aids Day 2017 campaigns to “End It All!” To end it all doesn’t stop at constructing a dam for the spread of the virus, but to dispel with education and protect one from the malicious threat of being contracted – with proper healthcare and precautionary steps.
As we speak, human trials are underway in South Africa to avert future infections. While it is worth noting that preventative cure works only on HIV negative individuals from being infected with the virus, medical researchers are optimistic about a breakthrough with the consistent funds and efforts to advance trials. Full results are expected to be announced in 2020.
While there is still no known cure for HIV, scientific efforts to improve treatment, promote prevention and raise awareness, effort continues to impact positively on the lives of many until the historical breakthrough is discovered.
Credit to NYC Health
Diversity and Inclusion
In a cosmopolitan community, diversity and inclusion necessarily mean embracing differences, celebrate similarities in cultures and recognizing the differing conditions of every single individual as a unit of the human race. More importantly, in this 2017 World Aids Day, we need to recognize that equality also means that every single person has the right to medical concession and humane treatment. No one should be left behind.
“Let’s End It!”
In conjunction with World AIDS Day, Gayhealth.Sg will be providing counselling services and free Anonymous HIV Testing with the help of our Action for AIDS Mobile Testing Service – MTS at Duxton Road from 10pm to 1am. Don’t miss their events happening at Tantric Bar & May Wong’s Cafe (11.45pm) and Taboo Club, Singapore (12am) as well, where our drag queens will be entertaining you all night.
This article is written by Melvin Chew
Melvin finds pleasure in writing, reading and creating the Arts. He relishes in writing short poems for leisure and meeting people from all walks of life. He is currently living in Singapore working as an account specialist dealing in Total Office IT Solutions. To find more about him, visit www.melvinchew.weebly.com