Coming Together to Fight Aids

World AIDS Day is celebrated each year on December 1. This day unites people from around the world in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrates international solidarity in the face of the disease. It is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of HIV/AIDS and encourage progress in disease prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries.

There is much progress to celebrate, including the news that the rate of new HIV infections has been reduced by more than 50% among adults (15-49 years) in 25 countries between 2001 and 2011; prevalence of HIV fell by nearly 27% among young people aged 15-24 globally; and Sub-Saharan Africa had a drop of more than 35% among young men and women. A record 2.3 million people were added to treatment programs in the last two years—an increase of 59%. South Africa scaled up its treatment services to reach 1.7 million people—an increase of 75% in the last two years. In Zimbabwe, 260,000 additional people accessed HIV treatment, registering a 118% expansion rate. Upwards of 100,000 people living with HIV were enrolled in HIV treatment in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

But much more remains to be done. According to the United Nations, in 2011, there were 2.7 million new HIV infections among adults and children. Despite impressive gains, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 72% of all new HIV infections. In addition, there are still 7 million people who are not receiving treatment.

Planet Aid supports the Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) program operated by members of the Federation Humana People to People. TCE employs a community-based approach to address issues related to the major epidemics, including HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria. The idea is that given sufficient knowledge and tools people can liberate themselves from the devastating impact of these diseases.

Through a door-to-door campaign, TCE field officers educate, inform and counsel each and every individual within a prescribed target area, empowering them to make positive decisions with regards to safe sexual behavior with regard to HIV/AIDS or other behaviors related to the other epidemics. Volunteers, called "Passionates," assist with complementary TCE activities such as school and workplace campaigns, women's clubs, orphan care, home care and much more. Additionally, TCE programs forge partnerships with existing services, both governmental and otherwise, and provide people with access to those services via referrals. The training and involvement of the Passionates, youth clubs, civic leaders and other local community individuals and organizations gives the project long-term sustainability.

To read more about what we are doing to fight AIDS, see our TCE page.