With sports as medium to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Nepal, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Trail Running Nepal jointly commemorated the 30th World Aids Day urging people to adopt healthy lifestyle and scale up testing for HIV.
More than 250 people participated in the trail race running or walking the distances of either 7km or 12km showing solidarity with people living with HIV/AIDS and promoting the message to scale up testing for HIV. The run was a part of Kathmandu Trail Race Series- a short distance race- organized by Trail Running Nepal every month.
World Aids Day - a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988- has turned 30 years today and is being celebrated globally under the theme “know your status” because, according to WHO, one out of four people with HIV don’t know they have it. This is primarily due to lacking access to treatment and fearing the social stigma.
“This day is an opportunity for all of us to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have lost their lives from an AIDS-related illness,” say the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Nepal Ms. Valerie Julliand. “It is imperative for us to break the social stigma regarding the HIV/AIDS which will encourage more people to get tested and access treatment if found infected,” added Julliand.
In Nepal, according to the National Centre for AIDS and STI Control, 835 people got infected with HIV and around 1,306 people died due to AIDS related illness in 2017.
The progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS has been however significant globally, with a major reduction in new infections and 34% reduction in AIDS related deaths. This progress has given a vision of ending AIDS by 2030 and countries across the globe have committed themselves to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), goal 3, which pertains to “end the epidemic of AIDS” by 2030.