Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
The theme for World AIDS Day 2007 celebrated yesterday was focused on leadership, under the slogan, "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise," which is the worldwide campaign until 2010.
This year's theme of leadership encourages you to "Take the Lead" in responding to key issues surrounding HIV/AIDS issues such as stigma and discrimination; access to medicines and better prevention, treatment, support and care.
Leaders with vision, passion, and perseverance, who lead with personal engagement, inspire others to become engaged and make a huge difference in the response of communities to and are better example in the response to HIV/AIDS.
This type of leader is not stuck in a government office; this type of leader is found in your homes, your religious houses, your schools, and your offices.
At home, in schools, at workplaces or worship spaces, you can "Take the Lead" in a compassionate, active and effective response to AIDS.
Youth are the future leaders. Involvement of youth in AIDS programme whether it is awareness raising or any kind of activity is stressed by world leader. Here is the recommendation that includes four Strategy of Action for youth involvement.
1.Advocacy and presentation of action plan to immediate community gate-keepers/stakeholders
2.Mobilisation of resources within immediate community
3.Finalisation of modality and sequence of implementation
4.Commemorating the World AIDS Day.
Therefore, as a youth, either young-young youth, old-young youth, or young-old youth, you should get involved yourself in your own capacity.
There are programmes you can design in line with the theme, based on your community needs assessment, and the stakeholders' analysis.
-According to latest statistics from WHO/UN, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people and an estimated 33.2 million people all over the world are living with HIV.
-Out of this 30% are women and 10% are children(below 15 years).
-Despite the improved access to ARV treatment and care, the AIDS epidemic is killing at least 5700 people per day all over the world.
-Despite rampant awareness 6800 people are getting infected everyday all over the world.
-In December 2006, the GoB reported that 874 people were living with HIV/AIDS in the country, with a total of 240 AIDS cases.
-However, UNAIDS reported in June 2007 there were some 11,000 people living with HIV.
-HIV has turned into concentrated epidemic among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), which reported 7 percent.
The writer is the Executive Director of Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF). Web site: www.bmsf-bd.org