LOS ANGELES (December 2, 2015) — AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, commemorated World AIDS Day on Tuesday, December 1st through dozens of free HIV awareness and testing events throughout US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. The organization also celebrated reaching the milestone that as of November 13th, AHF is providing lifesaving HIV/AIDS medical care and services to 502,237 patients in 36 countries.
Media personality, entrepreneur and author Amber Rose, actors Vivian Lamolli and Oskar Rodriguez of Hulu’s East Los High, and choreographer Debbie Allen were among guests who attended AHF’s Los Angeles reception and film screening at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood. At the event, Tina Campbell of Grammy award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary performed a live debut of the 2016 World AIDS Day anthem I Dream following the screening of the AHF-produced documentary film AHF: The Road to 500,000. A similar screening event was held on December 2nd at The Classic Gateway Theater in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
“500,000 patients in care is one of the greatest accomplishments in the 28-year history of AHF,” continued Weinstein. “Just two years ago, we celebrated 250,000 patients in care. To now reach over twice that number of lives is incredible. We celebrate today, and as we carry on, I am confident that the leadership of AHF’s domestic and global programs has the capability, and the will, to take us to one million lives in care over the next five years.”
Click on the image below to view photo galleries from World AIDS Day 2015:
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 36.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally. In 2014, 2 million people became newly infected with HIV. In recent years, access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) has expanded and now 15.8 million people around the world are receiving it. However, access to HIV testing and early diagnosis of the disease remain a critical gap in the global response to AIDS. WHO estimates that currently only about 53% of people with HIV know their status.
“In countries all around the world, AHF is working to expand access to prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS so that we can reduce the gap in people who are positive and don’t know it,” continued Weinstein. “We are now reaching over half-a-million men, women and children with lifesaving medical care in thirty-six countries around the world—a remarkable accomplishment that only a great team of patients, medical providers, staff and volunteers could have made possible.”
On World AIDS Day and the weeks preceding and following it, AHF is organizing a series of events in many of its 36 countries of operation, intended to raise the level of HIV awareness among the high risk groups and make convenient, free rapid testing and linkage to care available to communities around the world. While this year AHF is commemorating the World AIDS Day under the unifying slogan of “Dream Big – End it!”, the events in each country will be adapted to the local setting with a specific focus on the populations most impacted in the respective regions.
AHF UGANDA–December 1, 2015
“We are so proud to be caring for 500,000 people living with HIV around the world—more than half being in Africa alone. We have saved more than one million children from being orphaned. But there is so much more to do,” said AHF Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy Terri Ford. “This World AIDS Day we chose to Dream Big – End it! With a massive scale-up of free HIV rapid testing and referral to care, we can find and treat the 21 million HIV positive people who are not accessing antiretro viral treatment. We also need to reinvigorate a mass availability and promotion of attractively packaged condoms. Condoms work—if available and used. If we stick with Test & Treat, we can and will stop AIDS.”
A full list of AHF’s U.S. and international World AIDS Day events can be accessed at ahfwad.org.
AHF JAMAICA–December 1, 2015