World AIDS Day and the message for safe sex is handed out with free condoms.The United Nations is focusing on prevention and education, even of the very young. The number of people living with the HIV virus which can lead to AIDS has now reached over 40 million. Despite some progress in the treatment of AIDS, the epidemic is still outstripping global efforts to contain it. Today on this, the 18th World AIDS day, there is a planet-wide campaign to renew commitment to the fight against the disease. And nowhere more than in Sub-Saharan Africa is the need greater for progress. The region has more than half of the world’s carriers of HIV.But in Botswana and the continent’s first centre devoted to paediatric AIDS, Professor Gabriel Amabwani has saved some of the world’s most vunerable: “An average child gets infected at birth. In Africa, 40 percent of these children would have died by the end of the first year and only 15 percent survive four years. So 85 percent would have died by the age of five,” said the AIDS specialist. Botswana is the first African nation to give free AIDS medicine to all who needed it through the country’s public health system.
Prevention is better than cure - World AIDS Day message