American Samoa observes Worlds AIDS Day

“Hands Up for HIV Prevention”
tony@samoanews.com

This past Thursday evening, Dec. 1, American Samoa joined the world in commemorating Worlds AIDS Day themed: Hands Up for HIV Prevention – held at the Gov. H. Rex Lee Auditorium. The well attended event by the public, government representatives and church members, heard that there are 36.7 billion people diagnosed with AIDS throughout the years up to the present time, worldwide.

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s Declaration of Worlds AIDs Day was read out loud by Tasha Leatio’o who said, “In conjunction with the America World Health in encouraging a better understanding of the challenges of HIV AIDS nationally as it recognizes the number of people diagnosed with HIV AIDS in the United States continues to increase.”

“Worlds AIDS Day also provides an opportunity to focus local, national, and international attention on HIV infection and AIDS and to disseminate information on how to prevent the spread of HIV – the Hands Up HIV Prevention campaign will explore different aspects of HIV prevention and how it relates to different groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women – keying people and the prevention with HIV,” the declaration notes.

According to information released by World Health Organization (WHO), the Worlds AIDS Day is one of the eight official global health campaigns marked by the WHO, along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day.

As of 2013, AIDS had killed more than 36 million people world-wide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 millions people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history.

Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment, in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children.

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