World AIDS Day 2011: Combating HIV/AIDS in Nepal

Fighting three long decades of AIDS pandemic, Nepal has marked another World AIDS Day organizing various events and awareness campaigns.

World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to bring awareness, to remember those who have died of the disease; an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. December 1st, is an important reminder to everyone that HIV has not gone away.

The day this year takes a new global campaign theme, focusing on three major targets.

“Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.”

In Nepal, several organizations, NGOs & INGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention organized events such as Peace Rallies, signature campaigns and blood donations  marking World AIDS Day 2011. Along, awareness programs with mock dramas and counseling camp on HIV/AIDS were also observed.

According to a recent statistics by National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NASC), Nepal has more than 18,000 people suffering from AIDS in Nepal. With this figure, people infected with HIV is estimated to have crossed 56,000.Although there has been decline in number of new HIV infections but reports say that only less than 20% of the people living with HIV have access to treatment. There are around 36 anti-retro viral treatment centers across the country where some 6,000 HIV/AIDS patients have been reported to receiving treatment.

HIV Infected people protesting on World AIDS Day 2011. Image : Demotix

HIV/AIDS has been a challenging problem for developing country like Nepal. Funds has not reached to the targeted people. Proper analysis and laws still need a better implementation.  Several HIV/AIDS victims and activists blame that flaws in government policies have been the major hindrance to many anti-HIV/AIDS program in Nepal. Actions ought to be taken fast towards eliminating the disease to zero level.
And how it means “Getting to zero” is yet to see !