Today, December 1, is World AID's Day. It has been celebrated since 1988, to raise awareness about the AIDs pandemic and to remember the millions who have died. The toll that this disease has taken and continues to take, particularly in the developing world is beyond tragic, it is a global embarrassment that the slow progress to eradicate HIV/AIDS is condoned.
Although important gains have been made in access to treatment, it is still the case that in 2014 only 32% of children and 41% of adults living with AIDs are actually receiving treatment. Unfortunately statistics on women and men over 50 years of age are not collected. http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/HowAIDSchangedeverything/factsheet It has been known for years that putting all patients with HIV on antiretroviral medicines not only prolongs their lives but significantly reduces their ability to spread the virus.
We know that women and girls are especially vulnerable. The UNAIDS Strategy 2015 - 2017 states that "Gender inequality - including denial of women's and girls' rights to protect their sexual and reproductive health and bodily autonomy - remains the most pervasive form of inequality, with direct implications for women's risk of acquiring HIV".
There is a wealth of information on the UNAIDS website for those who would like to take a few minutes on this World AIDS Day to contemplate "how AIDS has changed our world" - http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/HowAIDSchangedeverything.