World AIDS Day aims to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus. It is also dedicated to commemorating those who have passed on or been affected by AIDS.
Remarkable progress has been made in the fight against AIDS. But now, as this year’s theme states, it is time to fast-track efforts to end AIDS. Bold action to address the new targets laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals can end the epidemic by 2030. Rapid scale up of programs will lead to 21 million AIDS-related deaths averted and 5.9 million infections among children averted by 2030.
Today, too many children are still affected by the disease. Those who are living with HIV/AIDS still don’t have enough access to the testing, treatment and care they need. Children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS face unique protection risks and stigma. At the same time, children facing other vulnerabilities have an especially high risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS as they move into adolescence and adulthood.
To realize the future of an AIDS-free Generation, it is imperative to put in place the protection, care and support services that are so critical to ensuring the healthy development and well-being of all children.
Globally, social service workers are at the forefront of providing critical support and services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. They provide case management services and referrals, psychosocial support, child protection services, economic strengthening and social protection services, family strengthening services and early childhood development services. By providing these services and acting as a critical link between community and clinic service provision, social service workers have been proven to positively impact levels of testing, adherence and retention. They also help communities combat stigma, lead advocacy campaigns and ensure that effective policies and legislation are in place.
This year, World AIDS Day acts as a reminder to all of us to step up our efforts to raise awareness, ensure access to quality prevention, care, treatment and comprehensive support services to families affected by HIV and AIDS.
- Learn the facts
- Spread awareness by wearing a red ribbon
- Download World AIDS Day campaign materials
- Put your knowledge into action and plan an event
- Let us know how you’ll be celebrating on our Facebook page
- Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #WAD2015
- Read resources related to HIV/AIDS and the social service workforce
- View a webinar featuring ways that the social service workforce is combatting AIDS in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe