HIV/AIDS: Getting to Zero
Every year, the first of December is dedicated to raising AIDS awareness. According to UNAIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV in the world, with South Africa home to the world's largest population of people living with HIV.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is "Getting to Zero". This echoes the UNAIDS vision of achieving "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths".
On 1 December, friends and family will remember loved ones lost to the AIDS epidemic. In addition, people living with HIV, as well as doctors and academics, will use the day to celebrate the progress made in response to AIDS.
Every person in South Africa and the world has a responsibility to be tested and to know their HIV status. If you know your status, you can take control of your life and manage the disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), South Africa launched the national anti-retroviral treatment (ART) campaign in April 2004. The Western Cape started with anti-retroviral projects as early as May 2001 in Khayelitsha and in Gugulethu in September 2002. This year, the Western Cape celebrated the 100 000 ART patient milestone.
The Western Cape Government is encouraging the public to get tested for HIV at local testing stations across the province (not at clinics). The list of testing stations will be continually updated during the campaign.
Please see the following sources for more information:
News on ART in the Western Cape: