Since 1988, World AIDS Day is held every 01 December to remind people of the fight against HIV and AIDS. It is an opportunity to support people living with HIV and commemorate those who are dead.
For the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV describes the infection of cells of the immune system and AIDS refers to the most advanced stage of the HIV infection. HIV can be transmitted in several ways, such unprotected sexual relationships.
Since the start of the epidemic, HIV has infected more than 60 million men, women, and children. At the last count in 2010, 34 million people lived with HIV/AIDS worldwide and for example, in Africa, there are 23 million people living with HIV/AIDS. It is the world’s leading infectious killer: an estimated 30 million people have died to date. The only way to prevent and protect is to use condoms.
The Day on 01 December immediately precedes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Both Days have different impacts, but there are important facts linking the two. Compared to the rest of the population, persons with disabilities have a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS. It should not be forgotten that people with disabilities have the same type of life that people without disability have.
Although Deaf people today are more aware of HIV/AIDS, it is still an important case and still requires intensive prevention. Services offered in clinics and hospitals can be inaccessible to Deaf people failing to provide sign language interpretation or other appropriate reasonable accommodations.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which provides a global policy framework to promote equal rights for disabled people, does not clearly refer to HIV or AIDS. However, UNCRPD in its Article 25 includes sexual and reproductive health and also Article 9 grants full and equal access to information
It is important to ensure that full and equal access to information, treatment, care, support, and rehabilitation is granted for Deaf and disabled people, living with or without HIV/AIDS.
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Health Organization, United Nations Programme of HIV/AIDS (2009). Disability and HIV Policy Brief. Available at:http://www.who.int/disabilities/jc1632_policy_brief_disability_en.pdf (Accessed on 8 November 2012).
International Disability and Development Consortium. Key resources – HIV&AIDS and Disability. Available at: http://www.iddcconsortium.net/joomla/index.php/hivaids/key-resources (Accessed on 27 November 2012).
Jill Hanass-Hancock (2009). Disability and HIV/AIDS. A systematic review of literature on Africa. In:Journal of the International AIDS Society 2009, 12:34. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1758-2652/content/12/1/34 (Accessed on 27 November 2012).
United Nation Programme of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Available at: http://www.unaids.org/en/ (Accessed on 27 November 2012).
United Nations (UN). Disability and HIV/AIDS. Available at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1560 (Accessed on 27 November 2012).
World AIDS Day. Available at: http://www.worldaidsday.org/ (Accessed on 27 November 2012).
World Health Organization (WHO). HIV/AIDS. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/hiv_aids/en/(Accessed on 27 November 2012).
World Health Organization (WHO) (2011). World Report on Disability. Available at:http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789240685215_eng.pdf (Accessed on 27 November 2012).