WHAT IS AIDS?

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease in which the body's immune system breaks down. Normally, the immune system fights off infections and certain other diseases. When the system fails, a person with AIDS can develop a variety of life-threatening illnesses.

**Aids Information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the 25 years since HIV AIDS was first identified as a disease, over 65 million people have become infected and over 25 million people have died of AIDS related causes.

The epidemic has spread across the world and no country has been spared. 
Every day 8,000 people die from AIDS and 18,000 men and women are newly infected. 
The incidence of HIV AIDS is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa with the Caribbean second in line. 
Latest estimates show that almost 40 million people are living with HIV. 

One of the saddest consequences of the disease is its impact on children. To put this in perspective, in Swaziland one in four households is headed by a child whose parents have died of AIDS. Sadly, there are already 14 million AIDS orphans in the world today. This is largely due to the fact that women are not only biologically more at risk than men but are also subject to high levels of sexual violence. Young women and adolescent girls are a high-risk category, but so are sex workers, injecting drug users and men who have sex with men.

The spread of the disease is worsened by the realities of economic injustice, gender inequalities, homophobia and prostitution. These underlying social causes make HIV AIDS such a complex disease. All these factors have created taboos and stigmas that have to be challenged in order that HIV AIDS is "normalised" as a disease in order for it to be treated more effectively at all levels.

The situation is already serious but if infection rates continue to escalate, the disease could pose a long term threat to human society.

DID YOU KNOW

Taking an HIV test takes away the anxiety of not knowing. Left untreated, STDs, especially HIV, can cause serious health problems. Early diagnosis and treatment will help you stay healthy. HIV tests are quick and easy, and at some clinics they are free or can be paid for on a sliding scale, based on income. Rapid HIV tests that produce results in only a few minutes are increasingly becoming available in more testing locations. Find out more information by clicking on AIDS above.

MOTHER TO CHILD INFECTION IS ON THE DECLINE.

Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “That number dropped to less than 60 for 2006. This is due to better screening, better awareness, and infants being provided with anti-viral therapy,” The decline of mother to child infections is perhaps the major success story in the fight against HIV/AIDS.



SUPPORT OUR "CHOOSE LIFE" CAMPAIGN
for choosing to do nothing is in itself a choice

The Caribbean often gives its visitors enormous pleasure, both because of its exquisite tropical setting and because of the islanders themselves.  The AIDS epidemic is the leading cause of death in the 15-44 age groups and heath services are struggling to respond to the growing population of persons with HIV/AIDS requiring care, support and treatment.  The average progression from HIV to AIDS is similar to that observed in other region however the mortality of AIDS patients in the Caribbean is reported at higher level (65%) indicating clear gaps in the care spectrum.  The multitude of social and economic forces at work in the Caribbean present both opportunities and challenges to a regional approach.

Through a grass-root approach we are coordinating outreaches with the tools of self-esteem and self respect building techniques for we believe that self-esteem influences choices. That the way we treat ourselves is a reflection of the way we feel about ourselves.  With the knowledge of self-worth we believe that individuals will make safer, healthier life choices.  "CHOOSE LIFE" 

The choice to be sexually active or not is a personal choice however, our goal is to help you to understand that the choice is YOURS and more importantly that YOU are responsible for your safety. That choosing to do nothing is in itself a choice.  "CHOOSE LIFE"

A Global Crisis

The AIDS epidemic is one of the greatest threats facing the world today and no country is safe. HIV/AIDS cases have been reported in every region of the world.

An estimated 38.6 million people worldwide were living with the virus in 2005, which is about twice the number as in 1995.

During 2005, an estimated 4.1 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV.2 

An estimated 2.8 million people worldwide lost their lives to AIDS in 2005.

In order to pursue the interest and mission of this organization and fulfill our duty of care, we are relying on your gifts.
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