Category: World Day

WORLD AIDS DAY – 1 December 2019

1 December 2019 was WORLD AIDS DAY

This year, World AIDS Day is themed “Communities make the difference”

Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. Communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, councilors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.

Some stark statistics

  • Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV.
  • More than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
  • The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 7,97 million in 2019.

 Frequent assumptions and questions

It’s important to remember that HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. When someone is described as living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of infections with which it would normally cope.

True or false: You can get HIV from a mosquito bite?
Answer: False

It is physically impossible for a mosquito (or any other insect which bites mammals) to transmit HIV. Firstly, the HIV virus can’t survive in or on an insect. Secondly, these insects only suck blood up, they do not inject blood back in.

HIV can be transmitted by two of the following routes.

a) Sharing needles or syringes / YES

b) Kissing someone / NO

c) Sex without a condom with someone who has HIV but has an undetectable viral load / NO

d) Spitting / NO

True or false: Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can prevent HIV transmission even when a condom isn’t used.

Answer: True.

If used correctly, PrEP is effective against preventing HIV. However, it does not prevent against other STIs or pregnancy. More info: A person can take Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent themselves from acquiring HIV. PrEP is a medication which is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission, when used as directed.

What are the benefits of HIV treatment?

a) It prevents sickness and gives you a normal life expectancy

b) It suppresses the virus so that you can’t pass it on

c) Both of the above

Answer: (c) Both of the above

More info: HIV treatment is extremely effective and an HIV positive person on treatment can now lead a full and active life and has a normal life expectancy. HIV treatment also has preventive benefits. It reduces the level of HIV in the body to what is clinically referred to as an ‘undetectable viral load’ (this normally takes around six months from starting treatment). If someone’s viral load is undetectable, that means that they cannot pass on HIV, even when having sex without condoms.

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World Day of Remembrance exists to pay tribute to road traffic victims and their families, as well as to recognize the work of professionals who act after a road crash.

The type of road mobility that is in place throughout the world still fosters an unbearable number of deaths, serious injuries and illnesses every year, both as the immediate consequence of road traffic crashes and through air pollution.

Here are some scary statistics published by the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration:

– Each year nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a road traffic collision— more than 3000 deaths each day

— More than half of these deaths are of people who are not even travelling in a car.

– 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, and these injuries are an important cause of disability worldwide.

– 99% of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which claim less than half the world’s registered vehicle fleet.

– Road traffic injuries are among the three leading causes of death for people between 5 and 44 years of age.

To read the “Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020, follow this link:

World Day of Remembrance




World Diabetes Day

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease but people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives with good diabetes management. This includes managing not only blood glucose (glycaemia) but also risk factors for complications such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These can be managed with a healthy diet, regular physical activity and the correct use of medication as prescribed by a health provider. People with diabetes require access to regular and organised healthcare delivered by a team of skilled providers.

People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin treatment, regular blood glucose monitoring and a healthy diet and lifestyle to manage their condition effectively to delay or avoid many of the complications associated with diabetes.

The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes management is a healthy diet, increased physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight. Oral medication and insulin are also frequently prescribed to help control blood glucose levels.

A healthy diet for people with diabetes includes reducing the number of calories in people who are overweight, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, eating dietary fibre, and avoiding tobacco use, excessive alcohol and added sugar.

Physical activity is most effective when it includes a combination of both aerobic (eg. jogging, swimming, cycling) exercise and resistance training, as well as reducing the amount of time spent being inactive.

For people with type 1 diabetes, an uninterrupted supply of high-quality insulin is essential for survival. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many countries. Almost 100 years since insulin was first used to treat type 1 diabetes, many people with diabetes continue to have difficulty accessing affordable and regular insulin to manage their condition.

The full provision and availability of injection and monitoring equipment are even lower, and the cost of blood glucose supplies often exceeds the cost of insulin, especially in some of the poorest countries.

The primary aim of the World Diabetes Day (WDD) is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of the condition.

The WDD 2019 has three main focus areas (click on the links to learn more):

Discover diabetes
Prevent type 2 diabetes
Manage diabetes


When posting to social media about World Diabetes Day, use the hashtag #WorldDiabetesDay