December 1 – World AIDS Day

December 1 – World AIDS Day

In accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN General Assembly resolutions adopted in the World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year. This year it is held under the motto: “Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility!”

The World AIDS Day’s goal is to raise global awareness of HIV/AIDS, intensify society’s efforts to respond to the epidemic, and demonstrate international solidarity. Organized efforts of all public and private entities are aimed at supporting HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, organization of training and providing information on all HIV/AIDS aspects.

In 2020, the whole world’s attention is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people’s lives and wellbeing. This pandemic has shown us once again how closely the health-related issue is linked to other important matters such as combating inequality, human rights, gender equality, social protection and economic growth.

COVID-19 has clearly illustrated that common safety during any pandemic depends on everyone’s wellbeing. To achieve success it is necessary to provide help to all who need it. Eradicating discrimination, taking into consideration the population’s interests and adopting human rights and gender equality based approaches are the main conditions for overcoming the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics.

“The right to health is one of the human rights. To ensure the universal inclusion of the population into health services, funds must first be invested in healthcare. On World AIDS Day, let us recognize that in order to cope with COVID-19 and eliminate AIDS, all members of the international community must act in solidarity and share responsibility”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his message.

The first HIV Prevention Information and Educational Youth Center in Turkmenistan was established in Ashgabat in 2008 with the assistance of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, the National Center for HIV/AIDS and the Magtymguly Youth Organization of Turkmenistan, as well as with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The main goal of the center, which is part of the POTENTIAL/USAID Project, is to inform young people about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as work to prevent the spread of drug addiction.

Over the past years, Turkmenistan has been implementing the National Program for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS/STIs as part of the preventive framework of the State Program “Saglyk” (Health).

Janmamed GULAMOV