“Getting to Zero Risk”: WYA Launches its World AIDS Day Campaign
WYA Launches its own World AIDS Day Campaign "Getting to Zero Risk": A Person-Centered Response to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic
New York, November 28th 2011
December 1 is World AIDS Day. On this day, the targets adopted by the United Nations General Assembly’s High-Level Meeting on AIDS will be reaffirmed. In June, the UN proclaimed the target of “reducing sexual transmission of HIV by 50 per cent by 2015”. Although laudable, this goal remains out of sight unless the global HIV/AIDS strategy shifts to encompass a person-centered response.
As highlighted by the General Assembly, “young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years account for more than one third of all new HIV infections, with some 3,000 young people becoming infected with HIV each day”. These statistics reveal a clear need for a new look at the HIV/AIDS strategy. While calls for abstinence and fidelity were made, the High-Level Meeting ultimately hinged much of the success of the 2015 targets on the provision of services and commodities—a position that fails to address the diverse needs of a person affected by HIV/AIDS.
By launching a campaign on World AIDS day, WYA will be calling attention to the essential elements of a person-centered response. A person-centered response has as its focus the intrinsic dignity of the person, and as its aim the goal of maximizing the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS programs. Such a response is often most effective when it starts from the family, as it is there that basic care and support should originate. The fact that the disease manifests differently all over the world must be acknowledged so that the fight against HIV/AIDS may be tailored to each cultural context. Critical elements of an effective response involve the prevention of early sexual debut, as well as the reduction of multiple concurrent sexual partners. The effectiveness of these measures lies in the way in which they respond to the capacity of the person to make responsible choices.