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As we observe World Aids Day this year, we stand together as a nation with the rest of the world to demonstrate solidarity against the deadly disease. Only by working hand in hand will we be able to get to zero together. Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Stigma & Discrimination. Zero AIDS Related Deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that in 2009 over 34 million people worldwide live with HIV and over 15 million children are affected by their parents’ death caused by AIDS. Over 2 million children live with HIV/AIDS.
Though the number of new HIV infections has declined worldwide, the number of those infected in the Philippines has increased. In 2011 alone approximately 1,800 confirmed new HIV infections were declared in just the first 10 months of the year. The numbers reveal a stark contrast to the annual reported cases of the whole 2009 which totals 835. Majority of those infected are male aged 20 to 29 with the Department of Health stating that an average of 6 infections is reported every day.
As the infected are faced with this deadly disease they not only encounter the physical damage but heavy on their hearts is the emotional suffering caused by stigma and discrimination.
World Vision in partnership with Channels of Hope has developed workshops to stop the stigma and discrimination to give love to those who need it most. Related to the theme of World AIDS day for 2011-zero discrimination, World Vision and the Channels of Hope Team currently conduct interactive workshops intended to create awareness and help bring hope to those infected. Participants learn more information about HIV & AIDS, its prevention and combating stigma & discrimination related to the illness.
A participant shares, “This workshop challenged my views in terms of how people living with HIV & AIDS can have hope through the available treatment and from their other support group, that the discrimination and stigma must be less or none, that a person living with HIV should not be judged and how can I help them as a Christian!”
If you would like to know more about Channels of Hope and would like to attend a workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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