World AIDS Day 2009

Today is World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is “Universal Access & Human Rights” – Universal Access to HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, Treatment and Support services.  It is no coincidence that the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday announced new guidelines for HIV treatment as well as for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).

2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the detection of the first case of HIV in Kenya, and over 300 000 people still require treatment and cannot access it. This figure does not include those who need access to testing and other preventions services, as well as care and support. In light of the new WHO guidelines, thousands more will require treatment, thus increasing the figure significantly.

Check out some other news articles to see what’s being discussed this World AIDS Day:

BBC Audio Slideshow: The AIDS Message – funny that they mention that the posters come from over 100 countries around the world, and the highlighted images are from the UK, US and Australia only. What about African or Asian content, especially given that the majority of people living with HIV/AIDS live on these two continents?

The Daily Nation (Kenya) reports on HIV infections in Kenya, as well as funding shortfalls for future HIV/AIDS activities in the country.

Of course, The Nation couldn’t pass up the opportunity to report on HIV and Men who have sex with Men (MSM) in Kenya. MSM have received considerable attention within the country over the past couple of months, following the marriage of two Kenyan men in London earlier this year. Of course, the topic also touches on the issue of Human Rights and is more than relevant this World AIDS Day, especially in light of the fact that as Kenya is currently undertaking the task of re-writing its Constitution. Rights of homosexuals are not guaranteed in the harmonized draft Constitution, which has implications for access to HIV/AIDS services.

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