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HIV kills 1 million people annually: official

Nov 25, 2015, 10:03 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

An average of one million people die of HIV and AIDS every year since the discovery of the disease 35 years ago, the deputy director of Health Promotion and Education Directorate has said.

Sanjally Trawally further said for 35 years, the number of people that have died of HIV and AIDS is also 35 million.

“This is a very serious problem but with the help of global community much progress has been achieved,” Mr Trawally said at a press conference held at the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) ahead of the commemoration of the World AIDS Day, 1 December.

The theme, as it has been for the past four years, is ‘Getting to zero’ and the national commemoration will be observed in Banjul.

During the day, the need for awareness creation and support to people living with HIV is reiterated.

Mr Trawally said “much progress” has been achieved with the advancement of medicine in terms of the treatment of HIV and AIDS.

The executive director of the National AIDS Secretariat, Ousman Badjie, said it was in 1987 when the concept of the World AIDS Day was conceived by information officers of the United States.

The first World AIDS Day was commemorated in 1988; it has continued annually since then.

“We have had top global leaders making statement on the day and other opinion leaders also use the occasion to send the message to people living with HIV and AIDS around the globe,” Mr Badjie said.

Commenting on the theme, ‘Getting to Zero’, he said the objective is to ensure that there are zero AIDS related deaths, zero AIDS new infection, and zero stigma and discriminated related to HIV and AIDS.

The NAS director said significant progress has been made in terms of response to HIV and AIDS.

“We still have a long way but together we can accomplish the cause,” he said.