YUGA: HIV and AIDS
The pandemic affecting millions
December 1st is World AIDS Day- a day to remember the millions of people worldwide who are struggling with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
We know that more has to be done to treat those affected and stop the spread of HIV. Join YUGA's efforts to raise awareness of this devastating virus and encourage our world leaders to take action!
A snapshot of HIV and AIDS worldwide:
- Since 1981, more than 25 million people have died of AIDS- which is more than 177 countries have in their entire populations. According to AVERT
- In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving drugs. Of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving them. According to the US Department of State
- An estimated $25 billion will be needed for HIV services in 2010. According to UNAIDS
What are HIV and AIDS?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The HIV virus prevents the immune system from working properly by destroying T-cells, which fight viruses in the body. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. If a person who has contracted HIV is not given medicine to control HIV, HIV is will likely progress to AIDS.
AIDS can be determined by counting the number of T-cells that are still remaining in the person's blood stream. If there are 200 or less T-cells in the body, HIV has officially developed into AIDS. As a person's immune system weakens, illnesses as common as the simple cold can be life threatening.
HIV is a dangerous disease not only because it is life threatening, but because it can go undetected for years. A person with HIV may look and feel fine, but they can still spread HIV through certain bodily fluids without even knowing it.
Where is HIV in the world?
Worldwide, nearly 33 million people are living with HIV. Many people associate the HIV virus with African countries- perhaps because 69.3% of the global population living with AIDS is in Africa. That amounts to 22.8 million people! In Swaziland, HIV prevalance rates are as high as 26%- roughly one in four people.
While Africa is proportionally the region hardest hit by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, the total number of orphans is largest in Asia. In Asia, the total number of orphans- orphaned for all reasons- exceeds 73 million children.
Another person contracts HIV every 12 seconds. Check out the UN's AIDS clock and maps showing where HIV exists around the world.
Plan's Work in Uganda
Read about Plan's HIV/AIDS projects in Uganda, which reduced the level of HIV transmission between mother and child by 60%. When Plan began working in the Tororo district, Uganda, 1 in 3 mothers passed HIV to their children during childbirth. After Plan’s project, however, rates of mother-to-child infection decreased to only 1 in 14. Read about it here.
- Participate in the Move to Stop AIDS Dance-A-Thon on December 10th! Find family and friends to sponsor you to dance for the evening and raise money for AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. The Providence area Dance-a-Thon will be held a t Local 121 in Providence- and there's talk of a DC-area Dance-a-Thon, too! Click here for more information about the Providence Dance-a-Thon and how you can raise awareness and take action on this global crisis. For more information about the DC Dance-a-Thon, contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Locate your local HIV/AIDS resource center. Resource centers have information about HIV/AIDS, and may be in need of volunteers or donations. If you're in Rhode Island, AIDS Care Ocean State is the premiere center for resources, information, prevention, and testing. Your YUGA Chapter can adopt a family over the holidays, volunteer at ACOS, or have an HIV+ individual come to speak to your group about living with the disease. Visit www.aidscareos.org/ for more information and how you can get involved.
- Raise Awareness in Your School. Get creative! Hold a poster contest in your school to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in the US and throughout the world. Wear red on December 1st. Make a banner to hang in front of your school about World AIDS Day. Make red ribbon pins and sell them during lunches, and donate the money to a local HIV/AIDS resource center or to one of Plan's programs. Whatever you do, you'll help engage your peers and community and get more involved in the movement to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS!
YUGA Central This Month's Most Popular...
Facebook Message: You don't have to be of voting age to have your voice be heard. Write a letter, make a phone call, or post a video of the issues that are important to YOU. Inspire others to take action, too! Nov 3 at 1:20pm
Tweet: Worldwide, about 6,000 youth ages 15-24 are infected with HIV each day. Learn more and do something about it. www.planusa.org/movetostopaids Nov 10 at 11:26am
Blog Entry: Giving Thanks: YUGA intern Kerry blogs about giving thanks during this holiday season. November 8, 2010
December 1: World AIDS Day
December 10: Move to Stop AIDS Dance-a-Thon
121 Washington St Providence, RI
Picks of the Month
Books to Read
- Teenagers, HIV and AIDS: Insights from Youths Living with the Virus by Maureen E. Lyon
- 100 Questions and Answers about HIV and AIDS by Joel Gallant
Film to Watch: "A Closer Walk:" More than 50 women, men, and young people were interviewed or profiled to encompass the broad spectrum of the global AIDS experience. Length: 85 min
January: Children in Conflict Zones: January 1st, the first day of the year, is recognized as the World Day of Peace. In January, we will celebrate the efforts that organizations such as Plan have made to keep children safe during periods of conflict.