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Friday, April 18, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramadharsingh: New HIV infections drops
Between 2001 and 2012 new HIV infections fell by 33 per cent said Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, Minister of the People and Social Development. He was addressing a World Aids Day event at the Edinburgh 500 Recreation Grounds, Chaguanas, on Friday. Ramadharsingh said Aids-related deaths have dropped by 30 per cent since 2005, and life-saving antiretroviral treatment reached almost ten million people in 2012. According to Ramadharsingh, “This marks a forty fold increase since 2002.”
He said, “While these gains were not achieved easily, it is my firm belief that they must be protected, and we cannot lose sight of the significant challenges which remain. The harsh reality, ladies and gentlemen, is that there is an estimated 2.3 million people globally who are infected with HIV each year. As I stand before you here today, epidemics continue to grow.” He said Aids-related deaths have fallen globally over the last seven years, however deaths among adolescents rose by 50 per cent within the same period.
In addition to this, global statistics reveal that 60 per cent of young people living with HIV are female. Ramadharsingh said punitive laws, gender-based violence, stigma and discrimination are still a reality in our society and often present major obstructions to progress in addressing effective solutions to the HIV epidemic.
It also impedes access to effective HIV prevention, treatment and support services. He said, “It is my duty to support communities and organisations and to respond to the development dimensions of HIV. “I encourage all of you to join us in the fight against HIV by standing in solidarity with all people affected by HIV.”
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