Today is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS, uniting our communities to end the spread of this virus, and honouring those who lost their lives to AIDS. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.
Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
In 2014, the World Health Organisation has reported that the leading cause of injury and harm to women world wide is physical injury from domestic violence. Albeit not labeled a pandemic, 1/3 of all women worldwide endure physical violence.
Our Partners at Futures Without Violence share research and positive ways to support women living with HIV/Aids. Quoting:
“Over 60 percent of HIV-positive women have been sexually abused—five times the rate in the general population. This is no coincidence.The correlation between intimate partner violence and HIV is staggeringly clear, and we can’t continue to turn a blind eye.”
“December 1st is annual World AIDS Day, an awareness-generating day to combat the stigma associated with people living with HIV/AIDS. According to the University of California-San Francisco, trauma can play a key role in women and girls becoming infected with HIV. And once infected, intimate partner violence can prevent them from accessing necessary treatment and care. Stress caused by abuse can further compromise the immune system and accelerate the progression of the disease.”
We encourage you to read their blog here.
It is critical that we support women living with HIV who are also survivors of gendered violence. We are certain parallels can be drawn here in the UK.
It is critical that all people who are impacted by domestic abuse, violence and HIV are respected and treated with dignity and care.
The theme of 2016 World Aids Day is Access Equality Rights Now.
Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to work together and reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services.
Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to all HIV stakeholders to unite and overcome injustices caused by violence and the exclusion of people on the basis of gender, class, race, nationality, age, geographic location, sexual orientation and HIV status.
Part of this work is how workplaces respond to people impacted by dv. As we have seen from sources for this blog, HIV impacts those who endure violence.
At the Alliance, we believe that all employers must take action to support their employees. Part of that is recognizing World AIDS Day and the diverse communities affected by HIV. Workplaces can be part of this campaign, and also in making a difference in the lives of employees.
Melissa Morbeck, Executive Director, The Corporate Alliance