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"Getting to zero: the message for World AIDS Day"
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"Getting to zero: the message for World AIDS Day"

phpAtZw3kPMIndividual and community attitudes about AIDS can have an effect on the effort to eliminate HIV infections and discrimination against those living with HIV, writes Lyn-Marie Blackman, 27, a Correspondent from Bridgetown, Barbados, as she examines the message for World AIDS Day.

The World AIDS Day message for the 2011–2015 period focuses on “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS related deaths”. This message shows that many organizations, groups and citizens around the world are waking up to the reality that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has no place within the human body and our communities.

However, this message is easy to say but will be a little harder to implement. We live in societies where some understand the compassion that is needed in the case of PLHIV (People living with HIV), while others have not opened their hearts to that level of compassion either because of myths, fear or sheer hard-heartedness.

In order for there to be zero new HIV infections throughout the world, the sexual habits of individuals, procedures around blood transfusions, the modus operandi of intravenous drug users and mother to child transmissions must be evaluated critically so that these areas are disarmed of the emergence of HIV. In various countries polygamy is practised, lack of proper health care is evident and some resources are not available to promote zero new HIV infections in clinical settings.

So what then?  Zero AIDS related deaths can become a norm but a lot of work and energy needs to be executed in this regard by proper health care management of the opportunistic infections that so often occur in PLHIV. For the world to achieve “Getting to Zero”, one must be educated on proper sexual behaviour, discrimination of PLHIV must become obsolete, and more breakthrough therapies and medicines have to be developed and pushed within our communities in order to make zero the status quo.

We all must become foot soldiers and fight the good fight to rid our world of this plague. We can change our world one individual at a time once our hearts, minds and attitudes are mobilized to the point that we acknowledge that the enemies are HIV and AIDS; the enemy is not PLHIV. Once we have arrived at this understanding, then this world will become a place that has “Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths”.

photo credit: jacilluch via photopin cc

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About me: I am a conservative and articulate individual with an innate desire to see love, peace and unity triumph. My interests lie in medical research. I enjoy researching medical news from around the world and reporting it in my monthly newsletter entitled L.I.F.E.

I love biomedical science and believe it holds the key to a healthier society. I aspire to become a medical researcher and writer. My focus now is obtaining more exposure for my newsletters: L.I.F.E. and The Believer.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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