Each year on the 1st of December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. It's a time for the world to unite and show their support for those living with and affected by HIV, whilst also remembering those who have unfortunately lost their life to AIDS.
World AIDS Day 2020
In 2020, the world’s attention has been focused by the COVID-19 pandemic regarding health and how pandemics affect lives and livelihoods.
COVID-19 has clearly shown once again how health is interlinked with other critical issues, such as reducing inequality, human rights, gender equality, social protection and economic growth. With this in mind, the theme for World AIDS Day this year is;
"Global solidarity, shared responsibility"
Most importantly, Coronavirus has demonstrated that during a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. If we are to succeed in battling pandemics now and in the future, we must not leave anybody behind.
For this to become possible, stigma and discrimination must be eliminated and more focus towards human rights and gender-responsive approaches must be taken.
We are now fully seeing how COVID-19 has increased challenges currently faced by those living with HIV with limited access to healthcare and the constant increase in social and economic inequalities and marginalisation of race and religion which are concerning factors not only putting those with HIV at further risk but to others.
Although everything regarding Coronavirus can be seen negatively today, which understandably so; This pandemic has been a major wake up call and created opportunity to do things differently, correctly and better... together!
In most regard, the defeat of AIDS as a public health threat depends on how the world can respond to COVID-19.
Time For Change
Global solidarity and shared responsibility requires us to view global health responses, including the AIDS response, in a new way. It requires the world to come together to ensure that:
Health is fully financed. Governments must come together and find new ways to ensure that health care is fully funded. No one country can do it alone. Domestic and international funding for health must be increased.
Health systems are strengthened. Investments in the AIDS response in the past few decades have helped to strengthen health systems and have been supporting the COVID-19 response. But more needs to be done to further strengthen health systems and protect health-care workers.
Access is ensured. Life-saving medicines, vaccines and diagnostics must be considered as public goods. There must be global solidarity and shared responsibility to ensure that no individual, community or country is left behind in accessing life-saving health commodities.
Human rights are respected. A human rights approach applied everywhere will produce sustainable results for health. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fault lines in society and how key populations have been left behind in many parts of the world.
The rights of women and girls, and gender equality, are at the centre. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected women’s livelihoods, which have been disproportionally affected by lockdown measures, and lockdowns have resulted in an increase of violence against women in household settings. Women must be included in decision-making processes that affect their lives. The world cannot afford rollbacks in decades of hard-won gains in gender equality.
Now is the moment for bold leadership for equal societies, the right to health for all and a robust and equitable global recovery. This World AIDS Day Joshua Lloyd is aiming to bring further attention to this important matter and highlight what is required to change in order to create global solidarity and shared responsibility.
In addition to this article, we will also be utilising our platform with our amazing community to share news regarding AIDS and important information across our social platforms.
How Can I Participate?
Participating in this year's World AIDS Day can be done in so many ways! A simple post highlighting some key points from this article or even doing some research on your own can be a great starting point.
Look out for our social media posts over the next few days and feel free to share them with the official hashtag #WorldAIDSDay.
By utlising your own social platform or through education friends, family and loved ones you can highlight the inequalities we currently face and the lives which are lost each year with thousands of preventable cases!
Access media tools posts and information here.
But for now, as always: Stay safe and speak to you again very soon!