International groups join to mark world AIDS day

World-AIDS-DayCharities, organizations and governments across the world are today joining to mark 16th annual World AIDS Day.

The event, first held in 1988 occurs every December 1st in order to raise awareness on the topic of HIV and AIDS.

According to world AIDS day organizers around 34 million people across the world currently live with HIV or AIDS. Organizers hope that the combined efforts of many international groups will help to support the many people globally who live with the illness and help prevent new cases from occurring.

Among the many events being held across the world are a number of small events organized by projects within the Caucasus. Special events are being held today in Armenia and Georgia to raise awareness of the problem of HIV/AIDS in the region, while helping to provide future support for people living with HIV.

According to Armenian charity PINK Armenia one of the major problems that faces people living with HIV (PLHIV) and AIDS is discrimination. Data has shown that because of the method of transmission HIV disproportionately affects members of the LGBT community, which some claim is one of the reasons for a lower level of support, especially in generally homophobic countries.

A lack of correct knowledge on the illness has also contributed greatly to the stigmatization of PLHIV, which in turn leads to inadequate care and support. Many projects involved with World Aids Day attempt to combat this with education and training aimed at fighting the stigma surrounding HIV.

For more information on World AIDS Day and to support the project visit the UNAIDS website here.

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