AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, marked the 26th observation of World AIDS Day by hosting free HIV awareness and testing events in 28 countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia and Swaziland.
In South Africa, the AHF SA team rallied around a Guinness World Record attempt to have the most number of people tested for HIV on 29 November at Emthethweni Senior Primary School in Umlazi. This was followed by awareness drives at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital and South African Police Service (SAPS) Yellow wood Park commemorative events, as well as testing drives in Umlazi and Butterworth, Eastern Cape.
AHF Zambia aimed to test 1000 people at the nation’s official World AIDS Day commemoration at Chipata Compound Grounds in Lusaka. Significant participation was felt at National AIDS Council World AIDS Day breakfast and media briefing on HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) in Zambia.
AHF Lesotho participated in the national programme in Thaba Bosiu, which was attended by His Royal Majesty King Letsie III, Government Officials, CSOs and other stakeholders. At the event, AHF Lesotho provided HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC), focusing on people living with disabilities, a traditionally underserved population.
In partnership with the Municipal Council of Mbabane and support from government officials and organisations including UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, AHF Swaziland commemorated World AIDS day with the opening of a new site in Mbabane called AHF Mbabane Help Center.
Central to all these activities was the AHF 20×20 global campaign, launched in 2013 which aims to extend access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) to 20 million people by 2020. Currently only 12 million people out of the estimated 35 million living with HIV worldwide are on ART. 1.6 Million people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2013, primarily because they cannot get the medicine they need. The chief aim of the 20×20 campaign is to spark a renewed vision—that investing in treatment scale up will yield humanitarian and economic benefits that far outweigh the initial costs. This campaign seeks to change the global mind set and reinterpret the AIDS response not as a burden, but as a smart long-term investment that will pave the way to ending AIDS, boosting economic growth and saving millions of lives.
ABOUT THE AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION (AHF)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 360,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia.