World AIDS Day 2016

Event Date: 

Thursday, December 01, 2016 - 8:00 am to 5:15 pm EST



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World AIDS Day is a day to remember those who have died from AIDS and to honor the efforts of people who have contributed to global efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation. The AIDSFree Project is commemorating the day by participating in two important campaigns. First, AIDSFree proudly celebrates USAID’s 30-year investment in the fight against HIV and will be participating in the #HIV30x30 Campaign on social media. Second, AIDSFree recognizes the essential role that prevention plays in ending HIV. For the nine weeks leading up to World AIDS Day, the AIDSFree team will participate in UNAIDS’ Hands Up for HIV Prevention campaign; each week highlights a different aspect of HIV prevention. Follow along with us each week on our website and on social media.

The AIDSFree Prevention Update provides a sample of summaries and abstracts of recent articles on global HIV prevention issues from a variety of scientific, peer-reviewed journals. It also includes state-of-the-art program resources, such as tools, curricula, program reports, and unpublished research findings.

View Prevention Update »

testWorld AIDS Day

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 1 - Invest in HIV Prevention

By investing in HIV prevention, we can all be part of an AIDS-free generation. Over the past 9 weeks, we’ve shared with you some of the best practices in HIV prevention. Continued investments in these approaches, together with other leading interventions across biomedical, behavioral, structural, and combination prevention, are essential to achieve the UNAIDS and PEPFAR targets.

As we learned in UNAIDS’ Get on the Fast-Track: the life-cycle approach to HIV report last week, we have had marked success in treatment and PMTCT. “Just under two years ago, 15 million people were accessing antiretroviral treatment—today more than 18 million are on treatment and new HIV infections among children continue to fall,” Namibia President Geingob commented in a presentation of the new report in Windhoek on 21 November 2016.

We’ve seen that testing, treatment, and retention are together very effective strategies for continuing this progress. Prevention is a key piece to ending the epidemic, particularly among adolescent girls and young women. AIDSFree supports USAID’,s PEPFAR’s, and UNAIDS’ vision s of an AIDS-free generation and is proud to work alongside them on these and other HIV prevention efforts.

Woman with "educate" written on her hand

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 2 - Key Populations

Man with Key Pops written on his hand

Key populations are groups of people who are at a greater risk for HIV than the rest of the world population. These groups include men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender persons, and prisoners.

UNAIDS reports that key populations make up 35% of new HIV infections.

Key populations are also at risk for stigma and discrimination, which can prevent them from access HIV services such as testing and treatment. Improving access to prevention, testing, and treatment services through appropriate programming for each population is essential to achieve the 90-90-90 targets and the vision of an AIDS-free generation.

MENAHRA is just one of the partners we’re working with to create a sustainable mechanism for HIV organizations working with LGBTI persons; migrants and refugees; and PLHIV, as well as LGBTI and PLHIV grassroots organizations, to facilitate referrals to appropriate, nondiscriminatory health services.

Woman with No Stigma written on her hand. Text: 19% of transgender women are living with HIV. They are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population.

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 3 - Testing Viral Suppression

Testing is an important component of each of the 90-90-90 goals. In the first 90, HIV testing services help prevent HIV transmission by identifying HIV positivity, supporting family notification, and providing counseling to help minimize risk. The goal of the second 90, linking HIV-positive people to treatment services, brings us closer to achieving the third: adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) leading to suppressed viral loads. When viral loads are suppressed to undetectable levels, the risk of transmitting the virus to others is significantly reduced. According to UNAIDS, attaining the 90-90-90 target would mean that, by 2020, 73% of all people living with HIV will have suppressed viral loads. If the viral load test is the gold standard for HIV treatment monitoring, then how do we scale up availability and use of this important this test? UNAIDS notes, improvements in treatment delivery are needed at several stages along the treatment cascade, and community-based advocacy will be essential to reduce costs and ensure widespread access to point-of-care viral load testing technologies that are simpler to use.

woman with "get tested" written on her hands, standing next to a man with ""AIDSFree generation" on his hand, standing next to a woman with "test & treat" written on her hand
pictogram of a hand with test & treat written on it with the text "antiretroviral treatment can reduce risk of HIV transmission by 96%"

In FY 2015, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 68.2 million people, providing a critical entry point to prevention, treatment, and care.

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 4 - Empowerment of Young Women/Girls

Empowerment of Young Women/Girls

While progress has been made to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, adolescent girls and young women are still being left behind. Girls and young women account for one in five new HIV infections in Africa. They are almost three times as likely as their male peers to be living with HIV. In July, at the International Conference on AIDS in Durban, PEPFAR announced DREAMS, an ambitious partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe young women. When adolescent girls and young women are empowered with access to education and the tools needed to make their own health decisions, they are better prepared to help lead the way to an AIDS-free generation.

74% of all new HIV infections in adolescents occurred in adolescent girls (UNAIDS, 2013).

Adolescent girls are 3x more likely to contract HIV than male counterparts

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 5 - PrEP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) helps prevent HIV infection prior to exposure through the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Studies in Botswana, Thailand, Uganda, Kenya, and other countries have shown that when daily oral PrEP is used consistently and correctly, it reduces risk of infection by up to 90%.

PrEP offers tremendous promise for HIV prevention for key populations, and expanding access is central to the global strategy to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

The effectiveness of this important biomedical intervention is closely tied to adherence. As such, scale-up of PrEP must be paired with appropriate combination prevention interventions.

Woman with PrEP written on her hand

Oral PrEP provides up to 90% reduction in risk of infection for HIV-negative individuals who take the pills every day as directed.

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 6 - EMTCT

woman with "EMTCT" written on her hand

Elimination of mother-to-child transmission, also known as PMTCT, is one of the most promising interventions to help realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation. EMTCT interventions prevent transmission of HIV from an HIV-positive mother to her infant during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding. Reports indicate that providing access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for women living with HIV has averted more than 900,000 HIV infections among children since 2009. One of the keys to success for EMTCT as an HIV prevention intervention involves continued scale-up of Option B+, which provides lifelong ART to all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV regardless of their CD4 count or WHO clinical stage. National governments, implementing partners, and donors are working hard to scale up access to ART for pregnant and breastfeeding women in the 22 Global Plan countries. Eliminating pediatric HIV transmission is now regarded as achievable, and EMTCT is considered an essential part of maternal, newborn, and child health care. EMTCT programs not only reduce transmission of HIV but, if integrated into full continuum of care, can protect infants from other causes of death as well.

Swaziland: AIDSFree’s work has shown that EID programs can be effective in increasing the number of infants tested and linked to care. In Swaziland, AIDSFree mentored providers and developed systems for tracking and contacting clients; as a result, 87 percent of exposed infants were identified and tested, and 85 percent of positive infants were started on treatment.

In Tanzania, AIDSFree provided technical assistance to improve HIV services, including PMTCT and EID, in 44 prison and police facilities. Through June 2016, this work supported PMTCT for over 10,000 women and provided antiretroviral therapy for 322 women and EID for 403 infants (92% of those exposed).

Only 60% of pregnant & breastfeeding women living with HIV received ART to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 7 - VMMC

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is a one-time, cost-effective intervention that provides men with lifelong partial protection against HIV transmission.

Furthermore, VMMC programs increase men's opportunities to seek health care, including HIV testing services. According to modeling studies presented at the 2016 International Conference on AIDS in Durban and published in PLOS ONE, VMMC has the potential to avert up to 3.4 million new HIV infections by 2025, if all targets are achieved.

Going forward, a new WHO and UNAIDS report recommends 5 million circumcisions per year in order to reach the Fast-Track targets. This target must be combined with appropriate outreach at the country level, tailoring circumcision services for men of different ages.

Man with "VMMC" written on his hand

VMMC reduces HIV risk by 60%

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 8 - Harm Reduction

Woman with "HIV Prevention" written on her hand

Harm reduction programs focus on reducing transmission of HIV associated with injecting drug use. Although new PEPFAR guidance calls for governments to actively support programming for people who inject drugs to build an enabling environment for prevention, few countries have achieved sufficient coverage of harm reduction services.

The evidence base strongly supports the effectiveness of harm reduction programs, such as those that reduce needle sharing and needle use and help stabilize the lives of people who inject drugs. Successful programs have dramatically improved and protected the health, wellbeing, and human rights of people who inject drugs.

If sufficiently resourced, harm reduction programs could end HIV among people who inject drugs within the next decade.

testCountdown to World AIDS Day: Week 9 - Condoms

Condoms are a key component of evidence-based, high-impact HIV prevention programs. When used consistently and correctly, male and female condoms reduce the risk of HIV by 80 percent or more.

45 million HIV infections have been averted by condom use since 1990.

Globally, countries and key populations have inconsistent access to male and female condoms and lubricants. As one of the ambitious targets to achieve an AIDS-free generation, countries have agreed to the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS to increase the annual availability of condoms to 20 billion.

Woman with "condoms" written on her hand