On the 30th World AIDS Day anniversary, the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) AIDS Office Director, Mrudula Smithson, has spoken about significant progress made in the AIDS response in South Africa. “South Africa has the largest ARV programme in the world. This has resulted in reducing child mortality by 20% and reducing the rate of new infections by 44%. However the rate of new infections among young people remains alarmingly high,” she said. 1 December 2018, the world community is marking the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is “Know your status.”

As reported by Vatican news, Smithson says HIV testing is an important component of the commemoration of world AIDS day. “HIV testing is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives.” She added, “Access to confidential HIV testing is still an issue of concern. Many people still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic.”

The SACBC AIDS Office is marking the 1 December anniversary with Candle Lighting, prayers for those affected by HIV and distribution of information leaflets to the public.

Source: Vatican news