UN Staff run to Commemorate World Aids DayTirus Wainaina
The World AIDS Day was marked at UNON with the traditional UN Run flagged off by UNON Director General Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde to raise awareness about HIV, celebrate the milestones achieved so far and to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.
The event was attended by several enthusiastic staff members who registered for the run. The proceeds will be donated to help children orphaned by HIV.
HIV continues to take a tremendous toll on human health, with 37 million people infected and 1.2 million deaths worldwide in 2014. In sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV epidemic has been most devastating, more than 25 million people are HIV-infected, about 70 percent of the global total, but only about 44% in Africa were receiving treatment.
Member States at the September 2015 UN General Assembly, committed to Global fast track targets for ending the AIDS epidemic which aims to achieve increased access to treatment, reduce new infections and zero discrimination.
The first target dubbed “90-90-90 by 2020” aims to ensure that:
- 90% of all people living with HIV know their status
- 90% of all people with HIV diagnosis receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
- 90% of all people receiving treatment have viral suppression
The WHO Test and Treat Strategy calls for all who have tested positive for HIV to be offered treatment as soon as possible, with the aim at reducing morbidity and mortality related to HIV, as well as reducing new infections.
Over the last 13 years, UN staff living with HIV in Kenya have benefited from services of the One-stop clinic, a service that facilitates 100% coverage for HIV treatment and care, following an agreement by the UNCT in 2003 that the burden of ARV access is borne by agencies through a common interagency fund. The great milestone achieved has resulted in a significant reduction in AIDS related mortality among UN staff in Kenya.
UN Cares Kenya and UN Plus Kenya chapter has continued to raise awareness among staff members through the HIV/AIDS orientation sessions held regularly through the year, reaching all cadres of staff from senior management to interns; promoting a culture of inclusion and reducing stigma.