World AIDS Day
December 1st is designated as World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. As of 2017, AIDS has killed between 29 million and 41.5 million people worldwide and an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV. Thankfully, recent improved access to retroviral treatment, the death rate from the AIDS epidemic has decreased since its peak in 2005.
World AIDS Day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required to address the barriers that stop communities delivering services, including restrictions on registration and an absence of social contracting modalities. The strong advocacy role played by communities is needed more than ever to ensure that AIDS remains on the political agenda, that human rights are respected, and that decision-makers and implementers are held accountable.