The Cayman AIDS Foundation (CAF) has been serving the community of the Cayman Islands for over 19 years, offering workshops, school educational programs, one-on-one HIV/AIDS lectures, and support group meetings to those affected by the virus.
World AIDS Day is held on Dec. 1 each year, and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and to commemorate those who have died.
CAF is working within the Cayman community to continue to educate people on HIV/AIDS, safe practices, promoting regular HIV testing, and preventing discrimination against people who are infected.
Today the World health Organization estimates that an estimated 35 million people have HIV worldwide, including more than two million adolescents. More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in human history.
Many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment. There are also laws to protect people living with HIV, and these days we understand much more about the condition, but despite this, stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV.
Thanks to tremendous advances in our understanding of the disease and how to treat it, millions of individuals around the globe are not only living, but thriving, despite HIV. Human trials of an HIV vaccine are currently being studied and at least one person has been cured of the virus.
There will be free HIV testing available at a number of locations throughout the islands from Monday, Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 5. See the Cayman AIDS Foundation website page for locations, dates and times at www.caf.ky/worldaidsday/world-aids-day