World Aids Day 2016: UNIC Windhoek’s hands are up for #HIVPrevention

anthea-wad-camp brad welda nicola julizeEach year, World AIDS Day is commemorated on 1 December, and is an, “opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services” (UN International Observances, World AIDS Day).

With about 210,000 people living with HIV in Namibia and a prevalence rate of about 13.3% for adults aged 15 to 49 (UNAIDS, Namibia), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s staff members have joined the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in raising their hands up for HIV Prevention on World AIDS Day.

The hands up for #HIVprevention campaign, “explore[d] different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people living with HIV” (UNAIDS, World AIDS Day 2016).

The UNIC Windhoek staff joined the global community in writing things they thought would improve HIV Prevention on their hands including; ‘education is key’, ‘gender equality’, ‘no stigma’, ‘HIV testing’ and ‘end GBV’. UNIC Windhoek shared the campaign via social media platforms namely facebook, twitter and instagram, to spread the message.

The #HIVPrevention campaign started shortly after the Get on the Fast-Track: the life-cycle approach report was launched on 21 November 2016 in Windhoek, Namibia, by the President of Namibia, H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé.

The report finds, “that countries are getting on the Fast-Track, with an additional one million people accessing treatment in just six months (January to June 2016). By June 2016, around 18.2 million [16.1 million–19.0 million] people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910 000 children, double the number five years earlier. If these efforts are sustained and increased, the world will be on track to achieve the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020” (UNAIDS, press release).

Although great strides have been made in the fight against AIDS and HIV, it is important to continue investing in methods of HIV prevention. UNIC Windhoek will continue to raise its hands up for #HIVPrevention.