This World AIDS Day (December 1, 2013), UNAIDs reports accelerated progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in most parts of the world, indicating that we are closer than ever to reaching our goal of ending the epidemic. Last year, there were 2.3 million new HIV infections – the lowest number since the mid-1990s. Among children, there has been a 52% decrease in new HIV infections. And there has been a 40-fold increase in access to antiretroviral treatment over the last 10 years (all stats UNAIDS 2013 report).
Still, there are approximately 35.3 million people around the world living with HIV today. Key populations remain marginalized, despite the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS has on them—namely sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs. Regional disparities persist as well: new HIV infections have been on the rise in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by 13% since 2006, and rates have doubled in the Middle East and North Africa since 2001 (all stats UNAIDS 2013 report).
The cost of HIV/AIDS is enormous. It kills individuals, orphans children and weakens communities, economies and education systems. The majority of HIV/AIDs sufferers are unable to work and need care from their families, placing financial and emotional strain on their loved ones. Children often have to leave school to care for sick family members or work to make up for the lost income. The stigma around HIV/AIDS remains very strong in most areas, isolating the sick and challenging prevention efforts.
This World AIDS Day, join us in helping raise awareness and show your support for those living with HIV/AIDs.
International Medical Corps has decades of experience working on the front lines of the global response against HIV/AIDS in more than 20 countries, including Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan (Darfur), South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our work focuses on developing national and community level capacity to improve the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, while ensuring that HIV/AIDS is integrated into primary health care programs and emergency responses. Our teams often operate in extremely challenging and remote environments, frequently in the midst of a crisis, to implement HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and education programs.
International Medical Corps recognizes HIV/AIDS as a cross-cutting issue that requires a holistic approach and close cooperation with local authorities in all sectors. By providing community-driven support to people living with HIV/AIDS and integrating HIV services into primary health care, we increase access to voluntary counseling and testing, strengthen referral to treatment centers, increase prospects for follow-up care, and provide opportunities for HIV and health education. Our approach is based on five pillars:
- Confidential Testing & Counseling
- Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT)
- Education & Prevention
We run HIV/AIDS programs in very remote and underserved environments and target high-risk populations. In order to reach more people, we operate mobile clinics, partner with local NGOs, and run outreach campaigns. At existing health clinics, we build local capacity by training health care providers in the delivery of HIV/AIDS services and supporting systems development and technical assistance. We also provide nutrition support for people living with HIV/AIDS and implement livelihoods program in communities struggling with the economic impact of the disease.
Learn more about our approach to HIV/AIDS
Read our HIV/AIDS Capability Statement
Read what it takes to deliver HIV/AIDS services in Kenya