This year marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day commemorations which take place annually on 1 December. The 2018 theme is “Know your status”.
Significant progress has been made in the AIDS response since 1988, and today three in four people living with HIV in South Africa, know their status. But we still have miles to go, as the latest UNAIDS report shows, its challenging reaching people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensuring that they are linked to quality care and prevention services after they have been identified.
HIV testing is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives. It is also crucial to achieving the 90–90–90 targets and empowering people to make choices about HIV prevention so they can protect themselves and their loved ones.
However, many barriers to HIV testing remain stigma and discrimination which still deter people from taking an HIV test. Access to confidential HIV testing is still an issue of concern. Many people still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic.
New ways of expanding access to HIV testing
- community-based testing
- multi -disease testing intended to help people to know their HIV status
Furthermore, in order to expand HIV testing programmes, political will and investment, novelty and innovative approaches to HIV testing are needed.
The Department of Health invites community members to join them in this year’s World AIDS Day to raise awareness about the importance of knowing one’s status as well as calling for the removal of all barriers to accessing HIV testing.
The 2018 national World AIDS Day will take place as follows:
Venue : Dobsonville Stadium
Province: Gauteng province
Time: from 07h30 - 15h00
Deputy President, Mr David Mabuza, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, other Ministers and dignitaries will attend the commemorations.