1 December 2011 marks World AIDS Day — a day for people around the globe to come together to tackle AIDS, show their support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate individuals who have died from it. Visit the World AIDS Day campaign website to find out more, and please find some highlighted information from the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) about the pandemic included below.
Key information on HIV/AIDS
How many are affected by HIV and AIDS?
At the end of 2010, UNAIDS and WHO estimated that around 34 million people are living with HIV worldwide, while 2.7 million persons have been newly infected with HIV, including an estimated 390,000 children, and 1.8 million people died of AIDS-related diseases (down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s).The 2011 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report also highlights that thanks to introduction of anti-retroviral therapy, a total of 2.5 million deaths have been avoided in low- and middle-income countries since 1995. Much of that achievement has taken place in the past two years when the access to treatment rapidly expanded; in 2010 alone, 700,000 AIDS-related deaths were averted.
Eliminating New HIV Infection among Children
The Global Plan, developed by UNAIDS, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, aims to eliminate, by 2015, new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive. Although this plan covers all low- and middle-income countries, its main focus is on 22 countries (mostly in the sub-Saharan Africa) with the highest estimated numbers of pregnant women living with HIV. To prevent new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive, pregnant women living with HIV and their children need anti-retroviral drugs. When antiretroviral drugs are used as prophylaxis, HIV transmission can be reduced to less than 5 per cent.
The impact of HIV/AIDS on education
A UNESCO report stresses that children are the most affected group as a result of HIV/AIDS, as they live with sick relatives in households with constrained resources. If one or both of their parents are ill or die, they are often left emotionally and physically vulnerable, and it is very common that they are taken out of school in order to care for the sick and contribute to the family income. Girls are disproportionately affected in this case. The report also highlights that teachers living with HIV are often absent due to the illness or medical treatment. Consequently, pupils are left without any schooling because of shortage of teachers.
Key resources on HIV/AIDS
Guidance on HIV in Education in Emergencies click here
Developed by the INEE Task Team on HIV and the UNAIDS Task Team on Education, this tool provides information for education practitioners who provide, manage or support education services in emergencies. It provides guidance for mainstreaming HIV and sexual and reproductive health issues into formal and non-formal education responses for adolescents 10-19 years old.
World Aids Campaign— www.worldaidscampaign.org
Specializes in promoting the skills, knowledge and strategies required to successfully campaign, advocate and lobby on universal access.
World Aids Day — www.worldaidsday.org
Facts on HIV, awareness raising, events, video messages from politicians and celebrities who support the tackling of HIV.
UNAIDS — www.unaids.org
Key publications, Guidance, 2010 Progress report, data and statistics, UNAIDS Strategy 2010-2015, resources.