Malawi commemorates World AIDS Day on Sunday in Kasungu

This year’s national launch of the 2013-2014 World AIDS campaign will be held on Sunday, December 1 2013 at Chamwabvi Primary School ground, Traditional Authority Chilowamatambe in Kasungu district.

The national event will be presided over by President Joyce Banda, and district, community and institutional level activities will be held thereafter, according to Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Edith Mkawa.

“World AIDS day serves to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS epidemic, gives everyone the opportunity to honor those who died of AIDS and allows the nation to focus its attention on issues that are key to a successful national response.

“The day also gives all Malawians an opportunity to reflect on the dangers of the epidemic and the impact it has caused at individual, household, community and national levels. It also provides room for finding solutions, affords everyone a change and energizes the government, institutions, civil society and the media to take active roles in the national response to HIV and AIDS,” said Mkawa.

Nkawa:  Geeting to zero new HIV infections

The World AIDS Day is annually observed under a theme and this time around will be commemorated under “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths and Zero Discrimination”.

The commemoration will be characterized by traditional dances, drama, speeches and testimonies from people living with HIV or affected by HIV and AIDS.

The theme is backed by the United Nations campaign of Getting to Zero which runs up to 2015.

Initially, the World AIDS day campaign theme is aimed at addressing the following:

Getting to Zero new HIV infections

Revolutionizing HIV prevention politics, policies and practices will shift the debate from HIV prevalence to incidence, enabling the nation to identify transmission hot spots, empower people, particularly young people, to demand and own the response and sensitize political leaders to focus on populations and programs that will make a difference in reducing new HIV infections.

Getting to Zero AIDS-related Deaths

Catalyzing the next generation of treatment, care and support to deliver a radical simplified treatment platform that is good for people living with HIV and will also cut new infections by scaling up treatment access. The next phase of new treatment, based on the drug regimens, will adopt innovative delivery models that both reduce the unit costs and recognize and empower communities to demand and deliver better and more equitable treatment services.

Getting to Zero Discrimination

Advancing human rights and gender equality for the HIV response means ending HIV related stigma, discrimination, gender inequality and violence against women and girls that drive the risk of and vulnerability to, HIV infection by keeping people from accessing prevention, treatment, care and support services. It means putting laws, policies and programs in place to create legal environments that protect people from infection and support access to justice. At the core of these is protecting human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS.

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