UNESCO Dakar celebrates World AIDS Day (1 December 2012)
World AIDS Day is celebrated in Dakar (Senegal) on 1 December 2012. This year UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar joins a series of actitivities organized by the Senegalese government and other UN agencies.
On 1 December a celebration is tkaing place at the National Council for the Fight against HIV based in Dakar.
On 16 December, a hike is organized by UN Care Team on the topic of HIV, particularly people living with HIV. One of the objectives is to draw attention to the association A Plus, which includes UN staff living with HIV.
"Combatting stigmatisation is still a huge challenge, there is still so much secrecy and humiliation attached to HIV," says Ulla Kalha, who is coordinating UNESCO's HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in West and Central Africa.
As last year, the building that houses UNESCO Dakar is decorated by the well-known red ribbon.
New data gives hope
The number of people newly infected continues to fall across the world. The number of adults and children acquiring HIV infection in 2011 stands a full 20 percent lower than in 2001.
Also in Africa, the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes in sub-Saharan Africa declined by 32 % from 2005 to 2011.
However, it's also important to note that Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV. 70 % of all people dying from AIDS in 2011 live in Africa.
Towards a triple zero
As a UNAIDS Co-sponsor, UNESCO is fully aligned with UNAIDS to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
"We work for this ‘triple zero’ goal by supporting countries to improve HIV and age-appropriate sexuality education for young people and by joining with all partners to focus on working with young people in their ‘second decade,’ aged between 10 and 20 years old," says UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova in her message.
"UNESCO supports ministries of education and health to work together more effectively to ensure that young people have the knowledge and skills to lead healthier lives. Tackling gender inequalities is a special focus of our work, as women and girls are severely affected by HIV and bear the greatest burden of care," she adds.
World AIDS Day is celebrated worldwide. Read more about the activities of other UNESCO Offices.