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Our battle against HIV/AIDS is not over yet, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life. Whatever our individual situation may be, we all need access to the tools to protect us from HIV and access to antiretroviral medicines whenever it is required. A life-cycle approach to HIV/AIDS that finds solutions for everyone at every stage of life can address the complexities of this pandemic. Risks and challenges change as people go through life, highlighting the need to adapt HIV prevention and treatment strategies from birth to old age.

World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on the 1st of December. It is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus. As we commemorate World AIDS Day, we stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have been infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since its first case was reported

The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed on observing such day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic. It also aims to promote nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS

The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. All nations worldwide are getting on the fast-track towards this commitment. In fact, more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that World AIDS Day is imperative as it reminds the public that HIV has not gone away and that collectively, there is the need to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education to maintain as well as achieve the objectives of each individual country as set out in the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016

We aspire to continue encouraging all members to organise programmes in combating the causes of AIDS pandemics and other deadly diseases. We prioritise in bringing awareness about the HIV/AIDS issue to the youth globally. We believe that it is the opportunity for young people to work actively and collaboratively with partners and other stakeholders around the world to raise awareness about HIV and help us progress closer to the universal goal of an AIDS-free generation.

Happy World AIDS Day!