December 1 — World Aids Day — is a much known day across the world. First observed in 1988, the day sees organisations and individuals bring attention to the HIV epidemic, in an endeavour to increase awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward ending this epidemic. And guess what? Our collective efforts have indeed made a difference!

The good news is that of the 37.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2018, 79% received testing, 62% received treatment, and 53% had achieved suppression of the HIV virus with reduced risk of infecting others. These figures paint a positive picture, but they also portray that a lot still needs to be done. While the day is a time to celebrate our successes in saving and improving the lives of people living with HIV, it’s also a time to remember those who lost the fight against the disease and renew our commitment to ending this epidemic.

As a hospital, we’ve seen that the right awareness and treatment can make all the difference — it can help people live long and healthy lives. This World Aids Day, we at Vishwaraj Hospital encourage one and all to join in the fight against the AIDS epidemic, to join in the fight to make the country HIV/AIDS free — one person at a time!

With that being said, it’s us - as individuals and as communities - who can come together and make a difference. Right from inculcating the basic principles of safe sex to making people understand the need for screening and prompt medication, ending the disease is all in our hands. The time is now to come together as communities, and start at the very beginning.