World AIDS Day

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1 Diciembre 2013

Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths

Today is the World AIDS Day. It is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.AIDS day

Globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history

Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Day has the theme: "Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths". The focus of the day in 2013 is particularly relevant for WAGGGS. The World Health Organization’s focus for the 2013 campaign is improving access to prevention, treatment and care services for adolescents (10-19 years), a group that continues to be vulnerable despite efforts so far.

What you can do - Take Action!

WAGGGS has developed loads of activities and badges to help you understand the facts about HIV and AIDS and how you can support those already living with the disease.

  • The WAGGGS HIV and AIDS training toolkit includes training booklets activities and newsletters about projects from five Member Organizations - Brazil, India, Kenya, Malawi and Peru. You can order the free publicatioin from WAGGGS online shop. 
  • The AIDS Badge supports girls and young women to work towards prevention, eliminating discrimination and providing care for those already living with HIV and AIDS. The badge was developed in conjunction with UNAIDS and the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO). 
  • Every day around 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV, mainly during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Without help most will die by their second birthday. Check our Take Action Backpack on child and maternal health and start your journey to save children’s and mothers’ lives. 
  • Visit CrowdOutAIDS.org, learn about ACT 2015 and join the #ACT2015 conversation on twitter @CrowdOutAIDS, and link up with other activists around world who are also hosting dialogues.

Around the world thousands of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts take action on this day. Read the blog by Yvonne Akoth, WAGGGS Post-2015 Ambassador from Kenya and an HIV/AIDS activist to find out on more ways to take action. 

by Yvonne Akoth

Two years ago, I was privileged to be part of a youth team that contributed in developing UNAIDS Strategy document, CrowdOutAIDS.  The aim of the document was to strengthen Collaboration with a New Generation of Leaders in response to the AIDS pandemic.

To date, HIV/AIDS has continued to affect the lives of young people, particularly girls and young women from Eastern and Southern Africa.   However, many young people have stood up and taken action to prevent HIV infections as wells as putting an end to stigma and discrimination.                                                                                                                   Kenya photoAs we commemorate the 16 Days of Activism in addition to World AIDS Day 2013, Kenya Girl Guides Association has joined the National AIDS Control Council in raising awareness on the AIDS pandemic, by partnering with Gender Based Service Providers to distribute J-Cards (Jikinge). The cards have a free hotline number 1195 that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the event of physical assault and sexual violence. Using the cards, one is able to receive immediate support after undergoing violence.   Conversation with UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe

As we work towards ensuring the voices of young people, particularly girls and young women are included in the Post2015 Development Agenda, young women from Kenya Girl Guides Association will be joined by the UNAIDS Youth Adviser for Eastern and Southern Africa, Paska Kinuthia to conduct a community dialogue where they will share their own stories, find solutions and commit to action. This will be part of UNAIDS ACT2015 Initiative. They will do this to ensure HIV/AIDS remains a priority in the Post2015 Development Agenda. This will be a follow-up of the CrowdOutAIDs Strategy document that puts young people at the centre of HIV prevention, by allowing them to take charge of their future.

 World AIDS Day 2013 has reminded us that we all need to join efforts to ensure HIV/AIDS becomes a thing of the past. As a Girl Guide, I commit myself to ensuring 2014 will be a year where young people in rural Kenya are actively involved in putting an end to the spread of HIV/AIDS. I will work with them and ensure their participation in various leadership platforms in their community. 

“Girl Guide Trainers and Leaders should work together to impart relevant knowledge and information to girls and young women. With relevant knowledge and information, girls and young women can unite as leaders and play an active role in preventing the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus”

 Margaret Nekesa Ontonga, Kenyan County Assembly Representative

(during a phone interview on 1st December 2013)