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World AIDS Day

Since 1988,  December 1 has been designated World
AIDS Day, a day for raising awareness about the prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS and, with equal importance, advocating for the respect and tolerance for those who are afflicted with the disease.

This year, one of the primary goals of World AIDS Day as reported on the official World AIDS Day Website is HIV:REALITY - Understanding the facts is the key to fighting prejudice and protecting yourself and others.  The organisation is doing a tremendous job in hosting events and showcasing real-life stories that support their efforts to decrease prejudice through increased awareness. 

The World Health Organization has also released new recommendations on treatment, prevention and infant feeding in the context of HIV, based on the latest scientific evidence. WHO now recommends earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for adults and adolescents, the delivery of more patient-friendly antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), and prolonged use of ARVs to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. For the first time, WHO recommends that HIV-positive mothers or their infants take ARVs while breastfeeding to prevent HIV transmission. The full story as well as direct information from Dr Hiroki Nakatani, Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization can be found here.

FIP is very pleased that it's Member Organisations are taking an active role in promoting HIV/AIDS Awareness and sexual health within their own countries. In France,  communication campaign was organised by the organisation called Croix Verte et Ruban rouge, in order to raise awareness amongst  young adults to wear condoms. In addition to press releases, press conferences and posters were displayed in community pharmacies. This organisation also enables pharmacists to sell a condom at only 0,2€ each or 2€ for 12 condoms.

Moreover, through the sale of the 12 condom box, the association will be able to finance self-service condom dispensers in high schools (0,10€ per each box will finance this). This campaign was also promoted by the Conseil national des pharmaciens.

On March 2009, the Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Farmacéuticos in Spain promoted a toll free number on HIV/AIDS developed by the Red Cross. This was done through a communication campaign in Spanish pharmacies that included stickers and posters displayed in community pharmacies.

The objective of this initiative was to raise awareness among citizens on this free, anonymous and confidential service. A total of 22,000 posters and stickers were distributed to community pharmacies though the Consejo General. Spain and the Consejo has a long standing history of active involvement in HIV/AIDS Awareness both on World AIDS Day and throughout they year.

And these are only a few examples of the efforts being put forth by FIP Member Organisations - if you have more news and reports of pharmacists' activities in World AIDS Day, please let FIP know! Contact us at myriah@fip.org and help FIP raise awareness on a global level.