Empowered women and girls will stop HIV/AIDS epidemic

British politician reveals he has been HIV positive for 10 years in emotional statement to parliament

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that today four in five people living with HIV in the African Region know their status.

- Nearly 22 million people were accessing antiretroviral drugs in 2017, compared with 8 million in 2010.

Commenting on the announcement, Deborah Gold, chief executive of National Aids Trust, said: "Although no one is obliged to be open about their status, and it isn't always an easy decision, the same stigma that makes it hard to say you have HIV is a stigma that is gradually eroded by people being open and proud".

"The sad truth is that many people do not get tested for HIV because of the stigma that surrounds it". The worldwide context where there is appalling levels of prejudiced and abuse against HIV-positive people and against the LGBT community in many countries around the world.

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According to Moeti, HIV testing empowers people to make choices about HIV prevention specifically how to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Strengthening the gains chalked in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as achieving the 90, 90, 90 target depends on stopping the stigmatization of infected persons, says Ms Dzid Enyonam Kwame, the Media Specialist for the U.S President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In 2017, 9.4 million people were simply unaware that they are living with a potentially deadly, but treatable, disease.

She said that this would enable all people have access to the services they need without facing financial hardship.

The Anglican Communion's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jack Palmer-White said: "Whilst there has been significant progress made to increase the number of people who know their HIV status, more needs to be done to ensure that this is a reality for everyone". The agency's also reminding people ME that HIV care and prevention have dramatically changed since the discovery of the virus in 1984, and many patients are able to live long lives.

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Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his ongoing commitment to Ending the Epidemic by expanding access to HIV care for people who are uninsured and underinsured".

"We will celebrate the progress we've made in their memory, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder and continue to work together with one another to hit zero HIV transmissions and zero HIV stigma for good".

He said that the "huge numbers of people" who do not know their status "are being denied the opportunity to live their lives to the full because of untested or untreated HIV infections".

"That means not only that you cannot detect HIV in my system, so I don't get sick, it also means I can't transmit HIV to someone else".

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