Every year, 1 December is World AIDS Day. The members of Humana People to People have in the past 20 years reached more than 20 million people with HIV and AIDS community mobilization for prevention initiatives in Africa, India and China.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2020 is Global Solidarity, Sharing Responsibility. It comes at a time when fighting the HIV epidemic has been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic which threatens the gains accumulated over the past decades in responding to HIV and AIDS.
Since early 2000, great strides have been made to gain control of HIV and AIDS epidemic, but if efforts are not carried to the end, targets to end AIDS by 2030 will not be met. In southern Africa, progress has slowed down, and there are still far too many new cases of HIV infections, especially among adolescent girls and young women.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the entrenched inequalities existing in our societies. This health crisis, like many others, is hitting the poorest and the most vulnerable the hardest.
COVID-19 has demonstrated that, during a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe.
Leaving people behind is not an option if we are to succeed. Eliminating stigma and discrimination, putting people at the centre and grounding our responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches are key to ending the colliding pandemics of HIV and COVID-19.
We have seen how the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the challenges faced by people living with HIV, women and girls and key populations, including challenges to access life-saving health care, and how the crisis has widened the social and economic inequalities that increase the vulnerability of marginalized groups to HIV.
Humana People to People’s HIV and AIDS programme Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) provides hope, saves lives and builds resilience among people against the consequences of HIV and AIDS. Each person has to take a firm decision not to get infected with HIV, and avoid transmitting the virus to others.
Working with hard-to-reach groups and key populations demands targeted and innovative HIV strategies. TCE works in diverse community settings. It empowers people to develop healthy communities and acquire essential knowledge and information, key in HIV prevention and support. Its approach is centered on community mobilisation, HIV testing, screening for tuberculosis (TB), referrals for treatment, and support for treatment adherence.
Our Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) projects build on the active participation of the people themselves in their communities. Cooperation between community health workers/field officers and medical practitioners is integral in supporting an increased uptake of HIV treatment in order to achieve viral load suppression.
Aligned with the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy, members of Humana People to People are working to ensure people know their HIV status, receive the sustained treatment they require, and eventually achieve viral load suppression..