New Delhi, Dec 1: The message is loud and clear: end the stigma and raise awareness.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, observed globally every year on December 1, activists working in the field stressed on the need to eradicate the stigma associated with the disease and create awareness among the masses to restrict the spread of HIV/AIDS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, issued on the eve of World AIDS Day, more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a similar number still unable to access the life-saving treatment.
The WHO has issued new guidelines on self-testing to improve access to HIV diagnosis.
The WHO added that lack of HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle in implementing the WHO's recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered ART.
The theme of this year's event is Hands up for HIV Prevention.
The campaign looks at ways to improve prevention strategies, identifying key areas among specific groups of people who are vulnerable to transmission--adolescent girls and young women in particular.