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World Health Organisation joins global partners to observe the day under the theme ''Know Your Status" urging people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV infection prevention, treatment and care services.
World Health Organisation joins global partners to observe the day under the theme ''Know Your Status" urging people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV infection prevention, treatment and care services.
More than a million people may develop AIDS in the next five years and at least five million others are already infected. That is the disturbing news from the WHO which reports that the number of new cases this year - estimated at 15,000 will equal the world total of the last 10 years.
The launch of a campaign to educate people about the disease was announced last year by Dr Jonathan Mann, head of the WHO special AIDS programme: A campaign to educate South Africa's majority black population is already well under way. The distribution of condoms and pamphlets is part of a successful new system.
Many African countries, many of them with a high proportion of AIDS sufferers are committed to an open fight against the disease an example which many governments around the world have yet to follow. In Kenya, the demand for condoms has jumped from 10,000 to 300,00 a month since last year.
The country strongly encourages their use in its AIDS publicity campaign on radio, television, newspaper and posters. Kenya has received financial help from foreign governments and international agencies nearly three billion dollars are concentrated on teaching the people how to avoid the disease.
Blood donors are vital to haemophiliacs who have AIDS. They need regular injections of Factor 8, a clotting agent extracted from the blood. The disease is spread through sexual contact, the use of contaminated needles and through the blood supply. Tests which measures the presence of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) antibodies which causes AIDS are not totally reliable.
Many AIDS experts believe that every person infected in the past has spread the disease to from one to eleven others. AIDS was first recognised in the United States in 1981. There have now been more than 65,000 cases reported in the US, including 15,000 who died last year and 28,000 new sufferers identified in 1987.
According to a state survey, 1,000 babies born in New York in 1988 will be affected with the AIDS virus. The infants pictured here are among a growing number of American children suffering from the blood disease. AIDS children put up for adoption face an uncertain future. In 1985, film star Rock Hudson made public the news he was dying of AIDS.
The decision to reveal his fatal illness greatly helped the US campaign against the disease. His announcement removed the general attitude "that it always happens to someone else". Official television programmes about the dangers of AIDS are being shown all over the world.
A government-sponsored video on Italian TV guides advice to young people about sexual behaviour and the use of condoms. Italy's known AIDS cases totalled about 2,6000 at the end of October this year. Hundreds of them have died. Unlike the pattern of most countries 70 per cent of the victims were drug addicts, 29 per cent homosexuals and the remaining number haemophiliacs of those who have had blood transfusions.
At Rome's Spallazani Hospital doctors and nurses join a special class to find out what to look for when testing a patient for AIDS. Professor Guiseppe Visco has told them that women are at the highest risk from the disease because of the dangers of the male semen. Maria Allibata and her daughter Francesca are both HIV positive. She says that had she known that the baby she was carrying was positively infected she would have chosen an abortion.
The WHO hope that its campaign of education will greatly reduce cases like this. Professor Fernando Aiuti, Italy's leading authority in the campaign against AIDS, has criticised the country's Health Minister for under-estimating the dangers of the disease. Pope John Paul II says the fear of contracting AIDS does not justify the use of condoms.
Professor Aiuti was asked if the Pope's statement caused delay in the country's AIDS prevention programme: Drug addicts can contract AIDS by using dirty needles. To prevent students from buying heroin -- and facing the dangers of both AIDS and drugs -- Italian police have recently started patrolling outside high schools with trained "sniffer" dogs. Students in another part of Europe recently went to a rock music concert organised to help the fight against AIDS.
They were young Czechoslovakians who want to grow up in a world free from the killer disease. The "World AIDS Day" on December 1 is aimed at forging a spirit of tolerance, compassion and understanding by encouraging people to discuss the problems of AIDS.